David Ortiz has written a first-person essay for The Players' Tribune, defending his past and candidacy for the Hall of Fame.
"Let me tell you something. Say whatever you want about me -- love me, hate me," Ortiz wrote. "But I'm no bulls------. I never knowingly took any steroids. If I tested positive for anything, it was for something in pills I bought at the damn mall. If you think that ruins everything I have done in this game, there is nothing I can say to convince you different."
Ortiz also told a story of being in the Dominican Republic last winter and being awakened by "two American guys holding briefcases" with "pee cups and big needles" who had come to administer drug tests mandated by Major League Baseball.
"In some people's minds, I will always be considered a cheater," he wrote. "And that's bulls---. Mark my words: Nobody in MLB history has been tested for PEDs more than me. You know how many times I've been tested since 2004? More than 80. They say these tests are random. If it's really random, I should start playing the damn lottery. Some people still think the testing is a joke. It's no joke. Ten times a season these guys come into the clubhouse or my home with their briefcases. I have never failed a single one of those tests and I never will.''
Ortiz's name surfaced in connection with steroids in 2009, when the New York Times reported that he and Boston Red Sox teammate Manny Ramirez were among 100 players who had tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003.