The Los Angeles Times reported Friday that, because Manny Ramirez's drug test showed elevated testosterone levels but no human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), some anti-doping experts feel that result indicates that some other substance may have caused the raised level.
The paper reported that the tests, plus the way Major League Baseball responded, indicated that Ramirez "used steroids."
As ESPN reported earlier this week, Ramirez and his representatives were prepared to appeal his 50-game ban for violating Major League Baseball's drug policy based on the fact that test results from a World Anti-Doping Agency lab in Montreal showed that he had an elevated level of synthetic testosterone. Ramirez's representatives intended to argue he had taken a steroid precursor known as DHEA, according to two sources.
DHEA isn't on baseball's banned-substance list, but is banned by WADA.
Professor Christiane Ayotte, director of the WADA-accredited lab in Montreal where Ramirez's sample was tested, told the Los Angeles Times that her lab knew that DHEA was not on baseball's banned list. One source told the Times that baseball had three "powerful analytic foundations" to say the positive drug test was not caused by DHEA.
Because of that, sources told the Times, MLB would not have declared a positive drug test if DHEA was the only reason. And therefore, the test must have shown something else.
ESPN reported earlier that testing showed Ramirez had used hCG, which is typically used by steroid users to restart their bodies' natural testosterone production as they come off a steroid cycle. It is similar to Clomid, the drug Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi and others used as clients of BALCO.
After the drug test showed an elevated level of synthetic testosterone, an appeal of Ramirez's ban was scheduled for May 6. MLB's legal team intended to use expert testimony to cite evidence it believed showed DHEA could not have been the cause of the synthetic testosterone.
However, in the days before the hearing, the MLB players' union turned over Ramirez's medical records -- and they including a prescription written for hCG. That was enough to secure a 50-game suspension, Ramirez dropped the appeal, and sources told ESPN that baseball then didn't test to find out what actually caused the increased levels.
Ramirez's suspension was announced on May 7.