As previously reported, David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez had tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs (PED) in 2003. Although the most commonly used PEDs have been anabolic steroids, there are a number of other drugs that are considered performance enhancing, and it is possible that these players tested positive for any number of these drugs (published reports do not specifically name the drugs found).
Performance-enhancing drugs can be divided into a number of categories:
Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is a normally occurring hormone that is essential for growth and cell reproduction, and which can increase muscle mass. Originally used to treat children and adults with growth problems, the hormone was replaced by obtaining small amounts of the hormone from cadaver pituitary glands. Affected children were only able to receive enough to bring them closer to a “normal” adult height, but distribution of the hormone was tightly rationed. Later, HGH was synthesized in the lab and became plentiful. At that time people began to use the drug not only to increase muscle mass but as an “anti-aging” medication. This latter indication has never been proven. The International Olympic Committee banned HGH in 1989.