According to a report in the New York Times about the ongoing appeal of Alex Rodriguez's 211-game suspension, the Yankees' third baseman tested positive for stimulant drugs in 2006. Rodriguez's lawyer has, of course, denied that any such thing occurred. The reason that the public was not made aware of the positive test through a suspension for Rodriguez is that first time offenders that test positive for stimulant drugs are not suspended. Only a second positive test would result in missing time on the field.
It's difficult to know what part of the seemingly daily leaks is legitimate and which parts are noise created by the respective sides to try to gain favor for their cause. If A-Rod did legitimately test positive for a stimulant drug while with the Yankees, it obviously casts doubt on any claim that he only took steroids for a time while he was still a player on the Texas Rangers. Whether or not you place stimulant drugs on the same plane as steroids is another matter entirely, but you can bet that MLB can and will use any slip ups they have evidence of to try to prove they were very much within their rights to hand Rodriguez a much longer suspension than any of the other players connected to Biogenesis because of his long history of steroid use. Whether or not that will convince the independent arbitrator that they were right to hand down a 211-game suspension for a player who was, by the letter of the law, a first time offender is another matter all together.
With snippets of news coming out in bits and pieces while both sides fling mud at each other via the media catapult, there is no way to know right now how valid the Times' report is. Of all the sources this kind of thing could come from, the Times isn't one of the ones that immediately makes people roll their eyes. What is certain is that this matter gets a little uglier every day and seems to be nowhere near a resolution. If A-Rod tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs during his time with the Yankees as the Times claims, that certainly changes a lot. Things that might have been idle speculation before would become verifiable fact.
It is pretty frustrating to be so far in the dark on the subject with only brief glimpses of light being let in occasionally. Maybe A-Rod has lied every time he said the words that he only took steroids with the Rangers, or maybe this is just MLB trying to push the needle a little farther their way as they try to nail one of baseball's superstars to the wall for PEDs. At this point, the only thing that seems certain is that it will definitely get worse before it gets any better and we just have to sit back and watch the circus constantly unfold.