Former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz said to a Boston radio station Friday that a 2009 New York Times report stating Ortiz and Manny Ramirez tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003 was in response to New York Yankees players getting caught.
Ortiz says on @DaleHolleyWEEI that NYT PED story in '09 was a response to too many Yankees getting caught. That's a new one.
— Chad Finn (@GlobeChadFinn) May 19, 2017
The 2009 story claims that Ortiz and Ramirez tested positive for the performance-enhancing substances in 2003, as well as about 100 other major-league players when Major League Baseball began testing that year. The results from those tests were intended to be anonymous.
When asked in July 2009 for a comment on the story before the Red Sox played the Oakland A’s, Ortiz was not interested.
“I’m not talking about that anymore,” he said. “I have no comment.”
But after the game, Ortiz released a statement:
“One, I have already contacted the players association to confirm if this report is true. I have just been told that the report is true. Based on the way I have lived my life, I’m surprised to learn I tested positive. Two, I will find out what I tested positive for. And, three, based on what I’ve learned, I will share this information with my club and the public.”
A little over five months before the story was published claiming Ortiz and Ramirez had positive tests, former Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez admitted to taking performance-enhancing drugs with the Texas Rangers from 2001-03. Rodriguez won the American League MVP with the Rangers in 2003 before being traded to the Yankees.
Ramirez and Ortiz were centerpieces for the Red Sox’s World Series title teams in 2004 and 2007, ending an 86-year World Series title drought.