Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez and Performance-Enhancing Drugs

It was reported today that Boston Red Sox David Ortiz and, former teammate Manny Ramirez (now with the Los Angeles Dodgers), both tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003.

In February of this year, Alex Rodrigues told ESPN that for a three-year period, starting in 2001 while playing for the Texas Rangers, he took performance-enhancing drugs.

Ortiz, Ramirez and Rodrigues unfortunately now join Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa among many All-Stars whose drug use has cast a shadow over some of the baseball’s greatest achievements over the past 20 years.

The most common types of performance-enhancing drugs are anabolic steroids, which is the familiar name for synthetic substances related to the male sex hormones (e.g., testosterone). They promote the growth of skeletal muscle (anabolic effects) and the development of male sexual characteristics (androgenic effects) in both males and females. These drugs were originally developed in the late 1930s to treat diseases where the body is deficient in normal concentrations of sex hormones but were also found to increase the growth of skeletal muscles in laboratory animals. This led to the abuse of these substances, first by weightlifters and body builders but later by athletes in other sports as well.

Oral steroids
Anadrol (oxymetholone), Oxandrin (oxandrolone), Dianabol (methandrostenolone), Winstrol (stanozolol)

Injectable Steroids
Deca-Durabolin (nandrolone decanoate), Durabolin (nandrolone phenpropionate), Depo-Testosterone (testosterone cypionate), Equipoise (boldenone undecylenate), Tetrahydrogestrinone (THG)



Mark Boguski, M.D., Ph.D. is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and is a member of the Society for Participatory Medicine, "a movement in which networked patients shift from being mere passengers to responsible drivers of their health" and in which professional health care providers encourage "empowered patients" and value them as full partners in managing their health and wellness.

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