NEW YORK - (AP) - Alex Rodriguez tested positive for steroids inhis MVP season of 2003 with Texas, according to a report by SportsIllustrated.
The New York Yankees star failed a drug test for two anabolicsteroids, four sources told the magazine in a story posted Saturdayon its Web site.
His name appears on a list of 104 players who tested positivefor performance-enhancing drugs in a 2003 baseball survey, SI said.He reportedly tested positive for Primobolan and testosterone whileplaying for the Rangers.
Rodriguez declined to discuss the tests when approached by SI onThursday at a gym in Miami, where he lives in the offseason.
"You'll have to talk to the union," he told a reporter. Callsfrom SI to union head Donald Fehr were not returned.
Major League Baseball said it was "disturbed" by the report,but did not elaborate because of player confidentiality.
"Because the survey testing that took place in 2003 wasintended to be nondisciplinary and anonymous, we cannot make anycomment on the accuracy of this report as it pertains to the playernamed," MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred said.
The players' union refused to directly address the story'saccuracy.
"Information and documents relating to the results of the 2003MLB testing program are both confidential and under seal by courtorders," the union said.
"Anyone with knowledge of such documents who discloses theircontents may be in violation of those court orders," the unionadded.
An e-mail from The Associated Press to Rodriguez's agent, ScottBoras, was not immediately returned. The Yankees and Rangers had nocomment.
In a December 2007 interview with "60 Minutes," three daysafter George Mitchell's report on drugs in the sport was released,Rodriguez denied using peformance-enhancing drugs.
"I've never felt overmatched on the baseball field. ... I feltthat if I did my, my work as I've done since I was, you know, arookie back in Seattle, I didn't have a problem competing at anylevel," he said.
Rodriguez played for the Rangers in 2003, when he won the ALhome run title and MVP award. He was traded to the Yankees in 2004.He is drawing a major league-high $27 million salary after signinga record $275 million, 10-year contract with New York in 2007.
The revelations come at a time when baseball's focus on drugshas concerned Barry Bonds and the legal maneuvering leading to thestart of his trial March 2. The government is trying to prove thehome run king lied when he told a grand jury he never knowinglytook performance-enhancing drugs.
Rodriguez until now has had an offseason dominated by talk ofdisclosures in Joe Torre's recently released book. The formerYankee manager wrote of the pressure A-Rod puts on himself and thethird baseman's need to command the stage. Torre said some in theYankees clubhouse referred to Rodriguez as "A-Fraud," althoughTorre made light of that during interviews promoting his book,"The Yankee Years."
Baseball's drug policy prohibited the use of steroids without avalid prescription since 1991, but there were no penalties for apositive test in 2003.
As part of an agreement with the players' union, the testing in2003 was conducted to determine if it was necessary to imposemandatory random drug testing across the major leagues in 2004.
The results of the testing of 1,198 players were meant to beanonymous under the agreement between the commissioner's office andthe union. SI reported that Rodriguez's testing information wasfound after federal agents, with search warrants, seized the 2003results from Comprehensive Drug Testing, Inc., in Long Beach,Calif.
That was one of two labs used by baseball in connection with thetesting. The seizure in April 2004 was part of the government'sinvestigation into 10 baseball players linked to the BALCO scandal,the magazine reported. Rodriguez has not been connected to BALCO.
Primobolan, also known as methenolone, is an injected or orallyadministered drug. It improves strength and maintains lean musclewith minimal bulk development and few side effects. Bonds testedpositive three times for methenolone, according to court documentsunsealed by a federal judge Wednesday.
Primobolan is not an approved prescription drug in the UnitedStates. Testosterone can be taken legally with a prescription.