x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Big Papi 'surprised' to be on drug cheats list

By the time David Ortiz played for Oakland Athletics late on Thursday, news had leaked that he was among the 104 players to test positive for performance enhancers in 2003.

David Ortiz's name is on a list of drug offenders.
David Ortiz's name is on a list of drug offenders.

By the time David 'Big Papi' Ortiz took to Fenway Park to play Oakland Athletics late on Thursday, news had leaked that he was among the 104 players to test positive for performance enhancers in 2003. The large player, however, showed no sign of nerves on the night as he hit a go-ahead home run that lifted the Boston Red Sox to an 8-5 win over the Athletics. Ortiz launched a three-run homer in the seventh inning to turn a 5-3 deficit into a 6-5 lead as Boston rolled on to victory.

Following the game, however, the Dominican Republic-born first baseman was anxious to clear his name by issuing a statement to the media. He said he was surprised his name turned up on the list that was intended to be confidential, and used to determine whether baseball would implement mandatory testing of players. "Today I was informed by a reporter that I was on the 2003 list of MLB players to test positive for performance-enhancing substances," the statement read. "This happened right before our game, and the news blind-sided me. I said I had no comment because I wanted to get to the bottom of this.

"I want to talk about this situation and I will as soon as I have more answers. In the meantime, I want to let you know how I am approaching this situation. One, I have already contacted the Players Association to confirm if this report is true. I have just been told that the report is true. "Based on the way I have lived my life, I am surprised to learn I tested positive. "Two, I will find out what I tested positive for. And, three, based on whatever I learn, I will share this information with my club and the public. You know me - I will not hide and I will not make excuses," said Ortiz.

Ortiz added that he was told before the game of a New York Times report that he and former Red Sox teammate Manny Ramirez were among the players who tested positive in Major League Baseball's 2003 survey testing for performance-enhancing drugs. * With agencies