The NY Times reported Tuesday that former slugger Sammy Sosa was one of the 104 players who tested positive in 2003, when Major League Baseball was trying to figure out if there was a steroid problem in the league. The Times credited anonymous lawyers with access to the list for the information.
The list of players was released to the government when it was subpoenaed. Sosa is now the second player on that list to be identified by anonymous sources. Alex Rodriguez was exposed as a member of that list in February and admitted using the steroid primobolin while a member of the Texas Rangers from 2001-2003.
Sosa has long been suspected of using performance enhancing drugs, but has consistently denied it. In front of a congressional committee in March 2005, Sosa said, “To be clear, I have never taken illegal performance-enhancing drugs,” and cited the fact that he had always tested clean.
Both his agent, Andy Katz, and MLB declined to comment on the Times report. None of the major news sources have apparently been able to reach Sosa either.
Sosa is currently sixth on the career home run list with 609 dingers, almost all of them with the Chicago Cubs. It has long been suspected that Sosa used performance enhancing drugs. Along with Mark McGwire, Sosa was partly responsible for helping baseball heal after the 1994 player’s strike.
In 1998, he and McGwire raced along with former Yankees 1B Tino Martinez for Roger Maris’ home run record. McGwire ended the season with 66, setting the new mark. Barry Bonds would later reset the mark at 70 only two years later. Both McGwire and Bonds are also suspected of having used PEDs.