Sports Illustrated is reporting Alex Rodriguez tested positive for two performance enhancing drugs in 2003, a revelation sure to create a media firestorm in the coming weeks even though we should be no more surprised than when Bobby Estalella was linked to BALCO.
Didn’t we know this was coming? A-Rod’s growth from his rookie season in Seattle to today has been more gradual than what we saw in Barry Bonds or Bret Boone, but no less extraordinary. Anybody who watched The Late Show’s Biff Henderson give A-Rod a shirtless rubdown a couple years ago could see that something wasn’t right. Rodriguez was huge, but it almost looked like water weight. Almost as if one could deflate his pecs with a needle.
In truth, A-Rod’s needles of choice were full of testosterone, and they went directly into his glutes. That was the A-Rod regimen in 2003 apparently (the year he won his first AL MVP, when he was with the Texas Rangers), along with some oral steroid called Primobolan (also known as methenolone), a drug that can’t be legally prescribed in the United States and was found in Barry Bonds’ system three times according to court documents in the Bonds federal case.
The 2003 tests were only done by Major League Baseball to gauge how pervasive steroid use was, and the players were promised that punishment would not be forthcoming if they tested positive. And since A-Rod never testified to in a court of law regarding anything steroid-related he won’t get in any trouble. He’ll get jeered by fans even more than usual, but the recent Joe Torre/Tom Verducci book insured that would be the case anyway.
What this bit of news does is prove once and for all that nearly every great player in the past decade was on something, as if we needed any more proof. Still, one question still remains: are there other players SI is protecting? Did someone have an ax to grind against Rodriguez? Are we going to find out anything about Albert Pujols, Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, Carlos Delgado or any other slugger who was mashing back in ’03?
And I know this is kind of off the subject, but wouldn’t it be great if they were testing pop stars for PED’s back in 2003? Obviously 50 Cent would have failed, but I bet A-Rod’s former flame Madonna would have at least a couple in her system, too. She’s veinier than Lamar Odom’s shoulders at the free throw line.