Baseball first tested for steroids in 2003 without any penalty for positive tests. The idea was to gauge how widespread use was in the majors and impose penalty-testing the next season if more than 5 percent of the results were positive. The results from 2003 were supposed to remain anonymous.
For reasons that are still unclear, the results were not destroyed. The information was later seized by federal agents investigating the distribution of performance-enhancing drugs to professional athletes, and the test results remain the subject of litigation between the baseball players union and the government.
Still, the list of players who tested positive in 2003 exists, and it has become notorious within baseball, much to the chagrin of Dodgers Manager Joe Torre.
“They are talking about six years ago,” Torre said Friday in Atlanta, reacting to Ramirez’s connection to the list. “It’s ancient history. It’s something that certain people have access to and they are choosing to systematically have fun with what they are doing with it. We’ve lost a great deal of integrity I think in this area over the years.”