Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz became the latest star implicated in baseball's growing drug scandal, acknowledging Thursday that the players' union confirmed he tested positive in 2003.
Ortiz responded to a story on The New York Times' Web site that he and ex-teammate Manny Ramirez, now with the Los Angeles Dodgers, tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in '03.
"Based on the way I lived my life," Ortiz said in a statement, "I'm surprised to learn I tested positive."
Ortiz, 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.
Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa are among the many All-Stars tainted by the drug cloud.
Ortiz and Ramirez led the Red Sox to World Series titles in 2004 and '07.
Ramirez 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 and are now under court seal.
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. He followed up with seasons of 41, 47 and 54 homers.
Last year he dipped to 23 home runs, and this season he is batting .228 with 14 homers.