Big Papi failed test

Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz became the latest star implicated in baseball’s ever-growing drug scandal, acknowledging Thursday that the players’ union confirmed he tested positive in 2003.

Boston Red Sox Manny Ramirez

NEW YORK — Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz became the latest star implicated in baseball’s ever-growing drug scandal, acknowledging Thursday that the players’ union confirmed he tested positive in 2003.

Shortly after hitting the go-ahead home run that beat Oakland 8-5, Ortiz responded to a story on The New York Times’ website that he and former teammate Manny Ramirez tested positive for performance enhancing drugs six years ago.

“I’ve just been told that the report is true,” Ortiz said in a statement after contacting the union. “Based on the way I lived my life I’m surprised to learn I tested positive.”

The popular Big Papi, who had never been linked to drugs, said he intended to find out what was in his system and would tell the Red Sox and the public.

“You know me — I will not hide and I will not make excuses,” he said.

Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa are among the many all-stars tainted by the drug cloud, which has called into question some of the sport’s greatest achievements over the last two decades.

Ortiz and Ramirez led the Red Sox to the World Series title in 2004 — their first in 86 years — and another championship in 2007.

Ramirez, now with the Los Angeles Dodgers, recently served a 50-game suspension for violating baseball’s drug policy. Asked about this second alleged doping violation, he told reporters in St. Louis: “You want more information, I’m pretty sure you guys got the phone number to the union. Call the union, and they can explain that to you guys.”

More than 100 major leaguers tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003 — the results were supposed to be anonymous but were seized by federal agents and are now under court seal.

“Precisely for that reason, the Players Association will not, indeed cannot, comment on whether the information is accurate,” union leader Donald Fehr said.

The Times’ story cited lawyers involved in pending litigation over the testing results who spoke anonymously because the information is under seal by a court order. The newspaper did not say what the players tested positive for.

Rodriguez admitted using performance enhancing drugs after he was linked to the 2003 list. And in June, The Times reported Sosa also was on the 2003 list.

Ramirez was a long-established star in 2003. Ortiz, in contrast, had been a part-time player before that season.

Ortiz had never hit more than 20 homers in a season as a part-time player in Minnesota early in his career. He came to Boston as a platoon player in 2003 and had four homers by July 1, then hit 27 the rest of the year.

Ortiz followed up with seasons of 41, 47 and 54 home runs as he established himself as one of the best sluggers in the game.

Last year, he dipped to 23 home runs, and his slump continued this season. He went into Thursday’s game hitting .224 with only 13 homers.

Ramirez returned from his suspension this month and quickly re-established his presence in the middle of the lineup for the NL West-leading Dodgers.

Just Posted

Olympic ski run designer creates upgrades at Canyon Ski Resort

Jeff Ihaksi says free-style and alpine ski venues are Canada Winter Games-worthy

Updated: Collision expert backs version of crash of driver accused of manslaughter

Daniel Newsham accused of manslaughter in fatal 2016 collision

Red Deer artist highlights the dinosaur connection of Alberta birds

Jeff Powers is fascinated by winged creatures

Murder charges laid against woman from the Sunchild First Nation

The 25-year-old female victim was found dead on Dec. 12

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

McDavid, Draisaitl with three points each to lead Oiles over Flyers

Oilers 4, Flyers 1 EDMONTON — Connor McDavid had two goals and… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: How to change your beauty routine

Kim XO, lets you in on her style secrets each Fashion Friday on the Black Press Media Network

WHL’s Thunderbirds, Silvertips open to NHL joining Seattle hockey market

TORONTO — The Seattle area’s major junior hockey teams aren’t worried about… Continue reading

Canadian freestyle skier Karker excited for Dew Tour’s modified superpipe

Rachael Karker has a renewed sense of confidence heading into her second… Continue reading

CBS settled with Dushku over ‘Bull’ star’s sexual comments

LOS ANGELES — CBS reached a $9.5 million confidential settlement last year… Continue reading

Kanye reignites Drake feud on Twitter, alleges threats

LOS ANGELES — Kanye West is not sending Christmas cheer to Drake.… Continue reading

Councillors in Toronto, Ottawa vote to allow retail cannabis stores

TORONTO — Councillors in Toronto have voted to allow retail pot shops… Continue reading

Most Read