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MLB Player’s Union Statement on 2003 Steroids List

The Major League Baseball Player’s Union released a statement regarding the now-infamous list of 104 names tied to performance-enhancing drugs in 2003 (later on, the MLB Commissioner’s Office released their own statement):

“The New York Times recently reported that David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez “are among the roughly 100 Major League Baseball players to test positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003.” The reported sources for this statement were “lawyers with knowledge of the [test] results” who “spoke anonymously because the testing information is under seal by a court order.” The Association has previously offered its views regarding this patent violation of court orders by attorneys, and The New York Times’ active pursuit and publication of what it openly acknowledges to be information that may not be legally disclosed.

“In light of the Times’ report, and all the other newspaper reports it has spurred, the Association feels compelled to offer the following additional comments:

“The sealing orders, which were appropriately issued by the various courts to maintain the collectively-bargained confidentiality of the testing, prevent the Association from supplying a player with specifics regarding his 2003 test results, or from discussing those specifics publicly. The practical effect of the sealing orders, if that confidentiality is to be maintained, is to further preclude the Players Association from confirming or denying whether a player’s name appears on any list which purportedly discloses the 2003 test results. The result is that any union member alleged to have tested positive in 2003 because his name supposedly appears on some list — most recently David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez – finds himself in an extremely unfair position; his reputation has been threatened by a violation of the court’s orders, but respect for those orders now leaves him without access to the information that might permit him to restore his good name.

“Unlike those anonymous lawyers who have violated the court orders — and The New York Times, which has authorized an active and willful pursuit of those violations — the Association will respect the courts’ rulings. But we can legally say the following, each of which we suggest must be considered in assessing any and all newspaper reports stating a player has “tested positive for steroids in 2003.”

“First, the number of players on the so-called “government list” meaningfully exceeds the number of players agreed by the bargaining parties to have tested positive in 2003. Accordingly, the presence of a player’s name on any such list does not necessarily mean that the player used a prohibited substance or that the player tested positive under our collectively bargained program.

“Second, substantial scientific questions exist as to the interpretation of some of the 2003 test results. The more definitive methods that are utilized by the lab that administers the current Drug Agreement were not utilized by the lab responsible for the anonymous testing program in 2003. The collective bargaining parties did not pursue definitive answers regarding these inconclusive results, since those answers were unnecessary to the administration of the 2003 program.

“Third, in 2003, legally available nutritional supplements could trigger an initial “positive” test under our program. To account for this, each “test” conducted in 2003 actually consisted of a pair of collections: the first was unannounced and random, the second was approximately 7 days later, with the player advised to cease taking supplements during the interim. Under the 2003 program, a test could be initially reported as “positive”, but not treated as such by the bargaining parties on account of the second test. “

About KC Downey - @kc_downey

KC is the "head coach" of the Sports of Boston, LLC blog network. Follow him on Twitter: @kc_downey

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Discussion

4 comments for “MLB Player’s Union Statement on 2003 Steroids List”

  1. [...] 12:53pm ⋅ Post a comment In response to David Ortiz’s press conference Saturday and a statement released by the MLBPA, Major League Baseball’s front office released their own statement about the 2003 survey test [...]

    Posted by Major League Baseball Statement on 2003 Steroids List | Sports of Boston | August 8, 2009, 12:54 pm
  2. [...] a statement released Saturday morning about the 2003 list, the MLBPA called the list into question. MLBPA representative Michael Weiner detailed how the 104 [...]

    Posted by David Ortiz Steroids Press Conference Recap | Sports of Boston | August 8, 2009, 1:17 pm
  3. This is all bullshit. Why is MLB and the Player’s Union now saying something? Where were they for Sosa and A-Rod?

    They had their chance to make this statement months ago and they screwed up. Now wverything they are doing is just damage control.

    Names and legacies have already been tarnished. The league has no choice now but to just release all the names on the list and what each player tested positive for. Rip it off like a band-aid and just get it over with. Let the storm hit all at once and then it will pass. Stop dragging this out!!!

    Posted by Pete | August 8, 2009, 1:25 pm
  4. Sadly, the league can’t release the list considering they don’t know everything about it. The only way the list gets released is if the federal government releases it, or a court order is lifted. I’m with you though, rip this bandaid off…

    Posted by KC | August 8, 2009, 1:27 pm

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