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David Ortiz PEDs: Red Sox's 'Big Papi' Denies Steroids Are Reason Behind Hot Start

By Jordan Webb | May 09, 2013 04:31 PM EDT

David Ortiz
After Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Ryan Dempster hit New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez with what was widely considered to be an intentional pitch, Dempsters’ teammate David Ortiz (pictured above) said he didn’t agree with what the pitcher did.On Friday, Ortiz addressed rumors that his comments caused a rift between him and Dempster.
(Photo : Reuters)

Boston Red Sox David Ortiz denied that performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) are the reason behind his great start this season.

Ortiz enjoyed a 27-game hitting streak before going 0-for-5 on Wednesday against the Minnesota Twins. Since returning in April from an injury, he's hitting .381 with four home runs and 17 RBIs in 16 games, according to Yahoo! Sports.

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Still, the 37-year-old slugger doesn't think that is any reason to link him to PEDs. Ortiz told ESPN on Wednesday that he was "hurt" to see the Boston Globe suggest his strong start to the season might be owed to PEDs.

"You're going to make me look like that just because I'm hitting good through 15 games?" Ortiz said. "I mean, it makes no sense."

"It's disappointing to me because of the hot start he's got to face that question, when, as he said yesterday, when he didn't get off to a good start a couple of years ago, he's got to face questions the other way," Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said on WEEI radio.  "It's a disappointing thing. ... It ought to take a little bit more than a hot streak to raise that question, in my opinion."

Ortiz said that the league has already tested him five times this season for PEDs, and his most recent test was on Tuesday.

"This is a stage in my career that it's never crossed my mind ... to get involved with anything related to PEDs."

The Boston Globe isn't the first newspaper to link Ortiz to PEDs. The New York Times reported in 2009 that Ortiz tested positive for PEDs during the 2003 season. Ortiz later blamed a combination of then-legal supplements and vitamins for the positive test.

Boston shut down Ortiz for the remainder of the season in August 2012 because of an Achilles tendon injury. He missed 71 of the final 72 games last year and all of spring training.

Ortiz played his first game this season on April 20.

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