Union to discuss concerns with commissioner's office

Updated: August 7, 2005, 2:16 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- The players' union says Major League Baseball may be responsible for leaking the name of the drug for which Rafael Palmeiro tested positive and might file a grievance, the New York Daily News reported Saturday.

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The union will discuss the issue with the commissioner's office Monday, Gene Orza, chief operating officer of the players' association, told the newspaper. MLB spokesman Pat Courtney told the News the commissioner's office was unaware of a possible grievance.

MLB has not specified what drug the test found, but The New York Times and The Associated Press, each citing a person with knowledge of the sport's drug-testing program, said it was stanozolol. A call to the union office by the AP on Saturday was not immediately returned.

Union spokesman Greg Bouris called the leak a "very disturbing matter," but would not comment further in an e-mail to the AP.

The collective bargaining agreement allows only for the name of the player and the date of his suspension to be released by MLB.

Mets pitcher and senior union leader Tom Glavine said this week he thought it "inevitable" a leak would would happen in such a case.

"Once a big-name player got caught ... there was going to be all kinds of investigation as to find out what he got caught doing," he said.

"It's somewhat frightening that what he took was so easily found out," Glavine added.

Five months ago, Palmeiro testified before a congressional committee that he never used steroids. The Baltimore Orioles first baseman says he doesn't know what caused the test result.

Palmeiro, only the fourth player in major league history with 3,000 hits and 500 home runs, received a 10-day suspension. Palmeiro would be eligible to return for an Aug. 11 home game against Tampa Bay.

The players' union had challenged the positive test in secret proceedings, and the penalty was held in abeyance until an arbitrator decided not to overturn it.

According to The Times, so far this season 1,000 drug tests have been administered in the majors -- there are approximately 1,200 players -- and 900 have been processed. Eight players have been suspended, each for 10 days, for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.