Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz wants to be in the Baseball Hall of Fame someday, and he knows that might be difficult based on his alleged links to past performance-enhancing drug use.
In a story published on the Players' Tribune, Ortiz wrote he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame because he never knowingly used PEDs during his standout career.
"In some people's minds, I will always be considered a cheater," Ortiz wrote. "Let me tell you something. Say whatever you want about me — love me, hate me .... 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."
In 2009, the New York Times reported that Ortiz was one of more than 100 major league players who tested positive for PEDs in a 2003 MLB survey test. Shortly after the report came out, Ortiz denied ever using steroids. The nine-time All-Star claimed he was only taking supplements and vitamins at the time of the 2003 test.
"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 claims the tests conducted by baseball in 2003 served as a benchmark for the league's evolving drug policy. He said he has always fully complied with baseball's rules regarding PEDs.
"The next year, they said, 'Okay, you can't take any pills with this, this and this' — all kinds of stuff that was previously in supplements that anybody could buy," Ortiz wrote. "They used our tests to figure out what should be considered a performance-enhancer. Okay. Fine. Great. Clean it up. I love it."
Ortiz, 39, is one of the greatest hitters in Red Sox history. He has 466 home runs and 1,533 RBIs in his career. He also has led Boston to three World Series titles.
He said it would be unfair to exclude him from the Hall of Fame for taking supplements that later were banned by the league.