Report: A-Rod failed test in 2006

Alex Rodriguez, who is appealing a 211-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball's drug policy, failed a drug test for stimulants in 2006, according to a report in The New York Times.

The report stated that the finding came from two people involved with the league's collectively bargained drug-testing program. According to the report, the New York Yankees third baseman was not publicly identified for the positive test because players face suspensions for banned stimulants only if they fail a test more than once.

The report was met with a strong denial from one of Rodriguez's lawyers.

"Alex Rodriguez was never suspended for use of stimulants. He has passed all tests under the MLB drug program," James C. McCarroll said in a statement. "The fact that MLB has resorted to leaking federally protected medical information about a player speaks volumes of the weakness of their case against Alex -- and their desperation to secure a win in the arbitration, at all costs."

Another representative of Rodriguez's legal team, Lanny J. Davis, released a statement on Monday that read, in part:

"The ethically questionable and possibly illegal misconduct of Major League Baseball in its investigation of Alex Rodriguez -- such as the knowing purchase of stolen documents for $125,000 in cash in a satchel in a Florida restaurant and putting in a good word with prosecutors for someone reportedly under federal and state investigation for distributing drugs to teenagers in the name of getting Alex Rodriguez -- is not just unseemly, it is shameful.

"I believe a federal investigation of this misconduct is needed -- and specifically, of the commissioner of baseball and the extent of his involvement and knowledge of the professional misconduct by investigators he hired, as reported by The New York Times."

It is unknown if MLB used the failed test as part of its evidence against Rodriguez during its side of the current hearing, according to the Times. Rodriguez's appeal of his suspension is on hiatus until Nov. 18, at which time his side will present its defense. The league wrapped up its side of the proceedings in October.

Rodriguez's side is also suing commissioner Bud Selig and MLB, alleging several instances of misconduct as the league worked to suspend Rodriguez for violating the joint drug agreement and the collective bargaining agreement.

The first conference of Rodriguez's lawsuit will be heard in New York on Nov. 7. MLB is attempting to get the suit thrown out. If there is a trial, it would not begin until sometime next year, at the earliest.