ATLANTA (AP) -- John Rocker claims he flunked a drug test ordered by Major League Baseball in 2000 and that he, Alex Rodriguez and other Texas Rangers were advised by management and union doctors following a spring training lecture on how to use steroids effectively.
The former Braves pitcher said on Atlanta radio station 680 that "Bud Selig knew in the year 2000 John Rocker was taking the juice" and did nothing about it.
Rocker was suspended for the first 14 days of the 2000 season by Selig for making racial and ethnic remarks in a magazine interview that the commissioner deemed insensitive. The penalty, originally set to cover 28 days, was reduced by an arbitrator following a grievance.
Major League Baseball said in a statement that Rocker was referred to the confidential Employee Assistance Program, and any test would have been conducted by professionals who ran the EAP. The organization said those professionals were obligated to maintain the confidentiality of the result and to use it in developing a treatment and education program for Rocker. It said further discipline was not an option legally available to Major League Baseball at that time.
Rocker said that doctors from management and the players' association, following a spring training talk with the Texas Rangers about steroids and other topics, pulled himself, A-Rod, Rafael Palmeiro and Ivan Rodriguez aside. Rocker was with the Rangers in 2002.
Rocker said the doctors told them that if they did steroids "responsibly, it's not going to hurt you."
Baseball did not have a drug-testing agreement between management and the players' union until September 2002 and did not have random testing with penalties until 2004.