New York — Former slugger Sammy Sosa tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug in 2003, The New York Times reported Tuesday on its Web site.
The Times, citing lawyers familiar with the case, reported Sosa is one of 104 players who tested positive in a 2003 baseball survey. The paper did not identify the drug.
Sosa is sixth on baseball’s career home run list with 609, most of them for the Chicago Cubs. He has not played in the majors since 2007 with Texas.
Sosa’s agent, Adam Katz, told the Associated Press he had no comment on the report. Commissioner’s office spokesman Rich Levin also had no comment, saying Major League Baseball didn’t have a copy of the test results.
Several of the game’s biggest stars, including home-run king Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Mark McGwire, have been tainted by the sport’s steroids scandal.
Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Manny Ramirez is serving a 50-game suspension for violating baseball’s drug policy; just a few months ago, New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez admitted using steroids from 2001-03 with Texas.
Sosa testified before Congress in 2005 and denied any wrongdoing, saying, “To be clear, I have never taken illegal performance-enhancing drugs.”
Bonds is under federal indictment, and Clemens is being investigated by a federal grand jury to see if he lied to Congress.
“To just speculate from an era of how many years it was of who did and didn’t do what, it’s impossible,” Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said before Tuesday night’s game against the Chicago White Sox. “It’s just time to put that whole era behind us and move on.”
Texas closer ready
Arlington, Texas — Texas closer Frank Francisco says he is ready to pitch again in a game.
Francisco threw another bullpen session Tuesday and said afterward he felt good. The right-hander hasn’t pitched in a game since June 3 because of shoulder stiffness.
Francisco likely will make a rehab appearance Thursday for Double-A Frisco. He is eligible to come off the disabled list Friday.
Bulldog bites Farnsworth
Kansas City, Mo. — Kansas City Royals right-handed reliever Kyle Farnsworth had his left index finger bandaged Tuesday after being bitten by one of his two bulldogs.
Farnsworth received four stitches from the bite after breaking up a fight between the two bulldogs on Tuesday morning. He shouldn’t miss any time due to the injury.
Smoltz’s return: June 25
Boston — John Smoltz is set to make his first start for the Red Sox on June 25.
Boston manager Terry Francona said Tuesday that Smoltz, who hasn’t pitched in the majors since having shoulder surgery a year ago, will pitch at Washington.
Rangers make staff cuts
Arlington, Texas — The Texas Rangers have cut several staff members from their front office about two weeks after owner Tom Hicks said he was exploring a sale of the team.
Rangers spokesman John Blake said Tuesday the cuts amounted to less than 10 percent of the staff.
Former OF Hall on trial
Fort Worth, Texas — Former major league outfielder Mel Hall is on trial on sexual assault charges, accused of repeated advances on a 12-year-old girl he coached on an elite basketball team a decade ago.
Hall’s accuser, now 23, took the stand in a Fort Worth courtroom Monday. She said Hall engaged in sex acts with her in various places, including her home and Hall’s apartment. Defense attorneys for the 48-year-old Hall presented their case Tuesday.
Hall was arrested in 2007 by police in a Fort Worth suburb investigating allegations of sexual abuse. He faces up to life in prison on three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and two counts of indecency with a child.
Donors provide L.A. parade
El Segundo, Calif. — Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Tuesday defended the decision to stage a victory parade for the Lakers, saying it’s important to celebrate even at a time of high unemployment and home foreclosures.
Some of the city’s wealthiest power brokers kicked in $850,000 of nearly $1 million in city costs for today’s parade and rally.
Bryant to appear on Conan
Universal City, Calif. — Kobe Bryant will make an appearance on the “Tonight Show” with Conan O’Brien today.
Hamilton accepts penalty
Colorado Springs, Colo. — Olympic champion Tyler Hamilton received an eight-year ban from cycling Tuesday, all but ending his drug-tainted career after he admitted to taking a steroid.
The penalty handed down by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency came two months after Hamilton acknowledged taking an herbal product to combat depression, knowing it included a steroid.
It brings to an end a career that included a win at the 2004 Olympics that was overshadowed by a blood-doping scandal. The victory was followed shortly by a positive doping test, but Hamilton retained the gold medal because the backup ’B’ sample could not be positively tested.
Pitino case delayed
Louisville, Ky. — Federal prosecutors have agreed to delay for at least six weeks the trial of a woman accused of trying to extort millions of dollars from Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino.
Clemson, Purnell agree
Columbia, S.C. — Clemson coach Oliver Purnell agreed to a two-year contract extension that will keep him with the Tigers through 2016.
Purnell’s base salary jumped $50,000 a year to $275,000. His supplemental income improved to $1.075 million each year.
Patrick exploring options
Richmond, Va. — Danica Patrick says she is not likely to make any announcement about her future in racing until after the IndyCar Series season is finished in October.
The only woman to win a major open-wheel race in history is in the final year of her three-year contract with Andretti-Green Racing. She says she is in the process of weighing her options for next season in open-wheel racing and possibly NASCAR.
Patrick, who won last season in Japan, is in her fifth season in the IndyCar Series.
Stallworth begins sentence
Miami — Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte’ Stallworth began serving a 30-day jail sentence Tuesday for killing a pedestrian while driving drunk in Florida, a punishment made possible by his cooperation with investigators and the fervent wish by the victim’s family to put the matter behind them.
Stallworth, 28, also reached a confidential financial settlement with the family of 59-year-old Mario Reyes, a construction worker struck and killed early on March 14 by Stallworth, driving drunk in his black 2005 Bentley.
Stallworth had faced 15 years in prison for his DUI manslaughter conviction. After his release from jail, he must serve two years of house arrest and spend eight years on probation. The house arrest provisions will allow him to resume his football career, his attorney said.
Marshall bids farewell
Denver — Brandon Marshall is saying his goodbyes to the Denver Broncos and their fans even as coach Josh McDaniels talks about seeing his holdout Pro Bowl receiver at training camp next month.
In a posting on his blog Tuesday that was titled “Clearing the Air,” Marshall wrote: “Life is filled with change, and where I am in my life now change is probably best. It’s hard leaving an organization ran (sic) by one of the best owners in all of sports (Pat Bowlen), and someone who’s been there for me through my ups and downs.”
Marshall is scheduled to make $2.2 million in 2009 and he wants more money.
College World Series
Texas rallies, drops ASU
Omaha, Neb. — Cameron Rupp’s second home run of the game broke a seventh-inning tie, and Texas overcame a six-run deficit to beat Arizona State, 10-6, in the College World Series on Tuesday night.
No. 1-seeded Texas (48-14-1) is 2-0 in the CWS and has advanced to the Bracket 2 final on Friday. The Longhorns need one more win to reach next week’s best-of-three championship round. They will play either ASU (50-13) or North Carolina on Friday.