Former slugger Sammy Sosa, who belted 609 home runs during his career, is the latest big name to be unveiled, according to a recent article in the New York Times.
“I don’t have any comment but I’ll tell you what I told everybody else, we now have the toughest testing program in American sports,” Selig told KTAR Radio in Phoenix.
“We’ve had one positive test this year in over 1500 administered. In the previous three years, we’ve only had eight positive tests. We’re talking about test results in 2002 and 2003, and I don’t know whether this story is accurate or not, I’m not going to comment on that. But, I do find it somewhat curious, my minor league program is in its eighth year, which means all the great young players, the young players on the Diamondbacks and everybody else have been tested over and over. The major league program is in its sixth or seventh year, we’ve banned amphetamines, we’re leading the fight to find a test for Human Growth Hormone. So, this sport has really addressed that problem.”
Asked about his personal feelings toward Sosa, the commissioner responded:
“I have great affection for Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire for different reasons: I got to know them well, they were always very cooperative, but time goes on and people are going to have to make their own judgments in the future. The fact of the matter is that this is a problem that has been addressed a long time ago. And, I want to underscore the ‘long time ago’ because it is irritating to me that people keep wanting… these are old stories, these are stories that are no longer germane. Are they accurate? I don’t know. You all will have to make that judgment.”
Sosa reportedly failed a steroid test in 2003, when such results were supposed to remain anonymous.
“By the way, I’m told by a lot of lawyers today that any leaks out, whether they’re accurate or not, are illegal and unethical. And, so, if you want to ask me if I’m appalled? Yes, I am appalled… It is not affecting our popularity, it is not affecting the sport… You have me on today, and you’re doing everything but talk baseball. I must admit to you, it is stunning to me, because the fact of the matter is that’s not what our fans want to do. There are so many great stories happening in this sport right now and have for the year - it’s been a remarkable season, it’s ten and a half weeks old, it’s been absolutely remarkable. We have great races, we have great races in all divisions, and you’re talking about tests that happened eight years ago. You want me to be candid with you? That’s appalling.”