In 2003 the issue was whether Major League Baseball and the players’ association (MLBPA) could come to some agreement on steroid/performance enhancing drug testing. Was it needed?
The agreement was to test some players that year and if the percentage of positive results came back at a certain level, testing would be done for the future.
That percentage was reached. The agreement between MLB and the parties was that the results regarding the individuals tested in 2003 would be forever private and unannounced.
For reasons that are unclear, those results were never destroyed. In investigations of other drug issues in baseball, naely the BALCO/Bonds federal investigation, those 2003 tests have surfaced and the now infamous “list” of those who tested positive in 2003 is in the hands of federal investigators.
The case on what should happen to this list is before a Federal Appeals Court and has been under consideration for months.
For MLB and the players, the nightmare continues as the names from the list leak out in a slow and torturing drip, drip, drip. Drip: David Ortiz. Drip: Manny Ramirez.
The faucet has got to be opened full. The list has to come out and the individual players can then respond, as they deem necessary.
That may be unfair based on the original agreement between MLB and the players, but is this torture better?
Besides, there is a list out there that is rumored to be THE 2003 list. It can be found at rotoinfo.com and has been on line for some time.
Rumors in this area are to be handled with extreme care. However, this list, wherever it may have come from, has names.
Ramirez and Ortiz are on the list. So are Alex Rodriguez and Sammy Sosa, which the list notes as having been confirmed as testing positive in 2003 by reports in the New York Times.
This list is out there and there are going to be stories about everyone on it. The 103 players on that list are sooner or later going to be asked if they have any comment.
The official list can only be released if the MLBPA and MLB come to an agreement.
To date, the MLBPA has fought to keep the list secure and it appears that whatever the decision in the Federal Court of Appeals, the decision will be appealed to the Supreme Court.
That process will take years. The dripping will be endless.
There is nothing fair about any of this. Too many players have lied and continue to do so about performance-enhancing drug use. MLB was way to slow to react years ago.
The game has been tarnished and every time the polishing begins, there’s another drug drip.
There should be a price to pay for the players who used. For some it will be denial into the Hall of Fame.
For all, the public should be able to know who played this game with respect for themselves and the fans and who were willing to cheat.