Major League Baseball has asked for restraint from fans in condemning players who have been reported as being upon a list of 104 players who tested positive for steroids during anonymous tests in 2003.
A statement from Major League Baseball and another from incoming players union executive director Michael Weiner argued that there were only 96 positive tests in 2003 but there are 104 players on a government list of players tested.
The 2003 tests were to have been anonymous and results used only to decide if a more formal steroid test program was needed. It was and has been made much tougher since 2004 under pressure from US lawmakers.
Federal agents seized test samples and identifying notes during the BALCO steroid investigation and since matching players and results there has been a stream of reports claiming some major stars were on that list.
The latest, Boston slugger David Ortiz, denied Saturday that he took steroids even though his name was reported on the list by the New York Times last week along with that of former Red Sox teammate Manny Ramirez.
Ramirez, now with the Los Angeles Dodgers, took a 50-game ban this season for a positive drug test.