Source: Palmeiro tested positive for stanozolol

Updated: August 9, 2005, 2:06 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- Rafael Palmeiro's positive steroid test was for stanozolol, a powerful anabolic steroid that is not available in dietary supplements, according to a newspaper report.

The New York Times, citing a person in baseball with direct knowledge of the sport's drug-testing program, reported on its Web site Tuesday that Palmeiro tested positive for the drug known by the brand name Winstrol, most notably linked to the Olympic sprinter Ben Johnson of Canada.

Johnson was stripped of his 100-meter gold medal in 1988 after testing positive for stanozolol.

"It's a mildly strong to strong steroid," Dr. Gary Wadler, a professor at New York University and an expert in sports doping, told the Times. "Potent is the word I would use."

The person who said that Palmeiro tested positive for stanozolol did not want to be identified because the testing policy prohibits anyone in baseball from disclosing information about test results without authorization, the Times said.

The Baltimore Orioles first baseman was suspended by Major League Baseball for 10 days on Monday after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. The highest profiled player to be punished so far, Palmeiro testified before Congress in March that he "never used steroids."

Palmeiro didn't deny turning in a positive test, but was adamant it was an accident.

The test was taken some weeks after Palmeiro testified before Congress in March, meaning he is probably not at risk for perjury, the Times reported, citing a committee staff member who spoke to the newspaper on condition of anonymity because official statements are supposed to come from members of Congress.

The Baltimore Sun reported on its Web site Tuesday night that Palmeiro tested positive in May and chased his 3,000th hit with the knowledge that he had failed a drug test. Palmeiro appealed the ruling in secret arbitration proceedings in June, a source told the Sun.

The Sun also said that Congress is looking more closely into the chronology of Palmeiro's case and is poised to call on baseball to reveal more details: when his drug test was conducted, analyzed and disclosed to the player and the team. Some members also want officials to reveal what Palmeiro tested positive for.

The House Government Reform Committee was drafting a tentative information request Tuesday, the Sun said.

Palmeiro was the seventh player to fall under baseball's new, tougher steroids policy; Seattle Mariners right-hander Ryan Franklin became the eighth when he was also suspended 10 days for a violation Tuesday. Baseball does not release what type of drug a player has tested positive for, and so far none of the eight have spoken openly about details of their violations.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.