Ortiz wrote a first-person account on The Players' Tribune website and claims that he is tested more than any other player in baseball.
He describes being woken at his home in the Dominican Republic in the off-season by MLB drug testers, who carried briefcases with “pee cups and big needles."
In 2009, a report surfaced saying that at least 100 players tested positive for PEDs in 2003. Those names were supposed to be sealed, but somehow got leaked. Ortiz, Manny Ramirez and New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez were among the names on the list.
"Let me tell you something. Say whatever you want about me -- love me, hate me," Ortiz wrote. "But I'm no bulls------. I never knowingly took any steroids. If I tested positive for anything, it was for something in pills I bought at the damn mall. If you think that ruins everything I have done in this game, there is nothing I can say to convince you different.”
Ortiz, 39, says he has been accused of being a cheater since that moment, and says most players were taking some kind of supplement because of the length of the baseball season.
"Some people still look at me like I'm a cheater because my name was on a list of players who got flagged for PEDs in 2003," he wrote. "Let me tell you something about that test. Most guys were taking over-the-counter supplements then. Most guys are still taking over-the-counter supplements. If it's legal, ballplayers take it.”
Ortiz also criticized “the reporter with the red jheri curl,” a reference to Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy, who wrote a column in 2013 saying that Ortiz fit the model of a steroid user because he was from the Dominican Republic, an older player and was on the list from 2003.
“I was stunned,” wrote Ortiz. “I’m like, I’m Dominican? I fit the profile? Are you kidding me? I wanted to kill this guy. But you can’t react. That’s what they want.”
Ortiz, a nine-time MLB All-Star, has 466 home runs and 1,533 RBIs in his career, and has led the Red Sox to three World Series titles.
"People ask me all the time how I turned into such a monster in my early '30s," Ortiz wrote. "'How are you doing this? You must be cheating.' You know how? Physically, I was always a bull. But I learned to play the game with my head and my heart and my b----. I got smarter. I got mentally tougher."
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