Report: Sosa tested positive in 2003

It’s basically the A-Rod deal:

Sammy Sosa, who joined with Mark McGwire in 1998 in a celebrated pursuit of baseball’s single-season home run record, is among the players who tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug in 2003, according to lawyers with knowledge of the drug-testing results from that year . . .

. . . Sosa, who is sixth on Major League Baseball’s career home run list and last played in 2007, had long been suspected of using performance-enhancing drugs but until now had never been publicly linked to a positive test.

This is not exactly shocking news. But unlike all that has come before on the subject of Sosa and PEDs, it is actually news, so the anti-Sammy Sosa dogpile finally has some sort of official imprimatur.

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  1. Aaron Moreno said...

    Any particular reason a “lawyer with knowledge” would leak this? Without even saying what he took? The Bonds case going that poorly?

  2. Nick Whitman said...

    This comes as a surprise to no one, I’m sure.  I think the real issue here is the mysterious list.  If no one can keep the people involved with it from leaking names, the entire thing needs to be released, because it’s absolutely unfair that Rodriguez and Sosa are getting singled out.

  3. DXMachina said...

    My first thought on hearing this was to wonder if someone at the Times has a book on Sosa coming out.

  4. Bob Tufts said...

    The only problem if the government is leaking the list is that are truly further ticking off Judge Susan Illston. Jeff Novitzky already has done that with the way he obtained the Quest/CDT evidence (grabbing 4000 tests and computers as “plain sight” while only having a warrant fro 10 names).

    The prosecutors would then stand no chance of getting her to argee with any evdidence motions in the Bonds case…and she has ruled against them repeatedly already!

    You are so correct regarding EAP’s. I think I’ll see how far I get if I try to obtain the drug and alcohol history of NY Times employees.

  5. Craig Calcaterra said...

    Bob—I think they’ve already lost Illston. In my experience, once you’re boned (or perceive yourself to have been boned) by the trial judge, you don’t give a crap about her anymore and scorch the Earth to convince the Court of Appeals. As it was, if they sided with her on the evidentiary rulings, the gov’s case is toast, so why not at least try to sway them.

    Not that this would sway a court of appeals with half a brain. And not that it likely matters given that Illston was right on the evidence rulings to begin with.  It’s just how some lawyers think, ya know?

  6. Michael said...

    I’m hoping they put the “leaker(s)” in jail for a while – there’s no good reason for this confidential information to be made public unless someone’s getting paid off.

    But maybe it’s made up, in which case there should be a libel, er, case.

  7. Michael said...

    Also, people, remember that “PEDs” DOES NOT mean “injectable steroids.”

    It could have been any one of a number of over-the-counter testosterone-boosting precursors. Sammy might even have taken some combination concoction like JC Romero took – back then there wasn’t a hotline to warn players away.

    The “leaker(s)” even admitted they have no way of knowing what the substance was, only that it wasn’t a “drug of abuse.”

  8. Rob² said...

    The worst outcome of all of this (as long as you’re not named Sammy Sosa) is that the lame-ass “journalists” who spout off about how certain players must be a product of steroids with no more proof than their own opinion will now feel vindicated and will push those boundaries further.

    Get ready for a veritable deluge of opinion pieces about how right these jackasses were all this time.

  9. Bob Tufts said...

    Did Sammy actually have a Bill Clinton “I never broke the laws of my country ” moment?

    Many of the illegal PED’s in the US are/have been legal in the Dominican Republic and other countries. Did Sammy Sosa buy and use in the DR where substances were legal at the time, but not while in the US? Was he using “the clear”, which was not declared a federally controlled Schedule III substance until after the 2003 season?

    And since Selena Roberts was wrong on the positve test for primobolan by ARod (according to the Mitchell Report) and the pitch tipping, could we be lacking equally clear facts here from her former cohorts at the NY Times?

    By the way, since they printed 150,000 copies of the ARod book and only sold 15,000, is there a landfill big enough to accept this much toxic waste?

  10. Rorgg said...

    Look at the bright side: the makers of Flintstone vitamins can stop worrying that they make your head grow in adulthood.

  11. ma said...

    Craig, you’re a lawyer.  What’s the legality behind the various leaks with list?  Somebody’s got to be breaking a law in releasing sealed evidence of the court; if it’s coming from baseball side I can see that being just poor ethics. 

    But if it’s coming from the judicial system as a citizen I kind of expect somebody’s ass to get nailed to the wall.  It’s not fair to anyone.

  12. Craig Calcaterra said...

    Nick and ma:  Agreed, the real issue here is the list being leaked. As I sit here right now, I’m not sure what the technical status is of the list (i.e. is it subject to a gag order; is it technically sealed; etc.).  I may have known once, but if I did I forgot.

    The upshot is that someone is likely in contempt of a court order at the very least, and actually breaking the law if the info is actual grand jury evidence or something. Either way, if it’s a lawyer doing it, he or she is risking ethics charges at the minimum.

    Why do it? There are as many reasons as there are dumbass lawyers. I could see someone from the Bonds/player side thinking that having evidence of others out there—especially someone like Sosa, who may have perjured himself—would be a good thing, as selective prosecution is a defense to many criminal charges. At the same time I could see the government thinking that more evidence of steroid users would make the case against Bonds seem all the more critical or important or something (and I find it curious that the A-Rod and Sosa leaks corresponded with times when the prosecution had matters immediately before the court).

    Or it could be something else altogther. Some lawyers are simply attention whores who like talking to reporters and get off on leaking things to them.  There are any number of other explanations.

    Ultimately I think the list should be destroyed because of the expectations of the people who subjected themselves to the drug tests that form its foundation.  By allowing this leaking party to continue, it’s sending the message to anyone that you should avoid subjecting yourself to employer drug tests at all costs.

    Then again, the libertarian in me thinks maybe that’s a good idea . . .

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