In January 2004, Major League Baseball announced a new drug policy which included random, offseason testing and 10-day suspensions for first-time offenders, 30-days for second-time offenders, 60-days for third-time offenders, and one year for fourth-time offenders, all without pay, in an effort to curtail performance-enhancing drug use in professional baseball. This policy strengthened baseball's pre-existing ban on controlled substances, including steroids, which has been in effect since 1991. The policy was to be reviewed in 2008, but under pressure from the U.S. Congress, on November 15, 2005, players and owners agreed to tougher penalties; a 50-game suspension for a first offense, a 100-game suspension for a second, and a lifetime ban for a third.
In December 2009, Sports Illustrated named baseball's steroid scandal of performance-enhancing drugs as the number one sports story of the decade of the 2000s.
^Eliézer Alfonzo's 100-game suspension was reduced due to procedural issues with his test sample.
^Alex Rodriguez was initially suspended for 211 games, but continued to play the remainder of the 2013 season while he appealed the suspension. An arbitrator reduced his suspension to 162 games after the season, meaning Rodriguez will miss the entire 2014 season. After dropping his subsequent federal lawsuits, Rodriguez is expected to serve the suspension.
Players who had major league experience on minor league rosters
^Alex Sánchez said this about his suspension: "I take some kind of stuff I buy over the counter. Multi-vitamin, protein shakes, muscle relaxers, that kind of stuff. Over-the-counter stuff. Stuff to give me energy. I'm surprised because look at what kind of player I am. I never hit any home runs. I don't know. It surprised me."
^Jorge Piedra said this about his suspension: "I am a little bit embarrassed that I put myself, my family and the Rockies in this situation, but it is what it is. I had taken some pills that I wouldn't have taken if I thought I would fail a test. People are going to think what they want. No need for me to go crazy about what everybody else thinks at this point."
^Though Jamal Strong did not comment, the Seattle Mariners issued a statement on the matter of drug use in their organization stating, "We are extremely disappointed with our players who have been suspended. While we support those players, we also support the efforts of Major League Baseball to rid baseball of performing enhancing drugs."
^Juan Rincón said this about his suspension: "Baseball is my life and I was devastated after becoming aware that I tested positive for a violation of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The details are confidential and I have asked the player's association to challenge the suspension...What I can share with you today is that I would never knowingly compromise my position within Major League Baseball or jeopardize my relationship with the Minnesota Twins organization or the relationships that I enjoy with my teammates."
^Rafael Betancourt said this about his suspension: "I am very angry and disappointed with Major League Baseball's decision to suspend me. I am going to file a grievance to clear my name. I am very sorry if this has caused any embarrassment and I apologize to my family, the Cleveland Indians organization, my teammates and all the fans...I look forward to resolving this matter and returning to the Indians as soon as possible."
^Rafael Palmeiro said this about his suspension: "I told the truth, and today I am telling the truth again that I did not do this intentionally or knowingly. I hope the fans understand that I worked very hard over a long 20-year career. I put in a lot of time and a lot of effort in my career. I made a mistake and I am facing it. I hope people learn from my mistake and I hope the fans forgive me...I went in front of Congress and I was honest with Congress. There's no absolute reason for me to do anything at this stage of my career. There's nothing for me to gain and everything for me to lose. I knew I was approaching 3,000 hits. I was not about to put everything on the line, my reputation and everything that I've worked for so hard in my life to do anything like this. It just makes no sense."
^Ryan Franklin said this about his suspension: "There has to be a flaw in the system. I have no clue. I tested in [early] May and again three weeks later. The first was positive, the second was negative. There is a flaw in the testing or my urine got mixed up with somebody else's. They said that couldn't happen but I don't believe it...I just know deep in my heart that I'd never do anything like that...I was like, 'Are you kidding me?' I had just woken up from a nap and thought, 'There's no way this is happening to me.' I thought it was a joke."
^Mike Morse said this about his suspension: "First and foremost, I want to apologize to the fans, my teammates, the Mariners' organization, baseball and to my family. Back in November 2003 when I was 21 years old, I made an enormous mistake in my life: I took steroids while in the Minor Leagues. My thigh muscle, which I had previously torn, had never healed and I was scared that my career was over. I was desperate and made a terrible mistake which I deeply regret."
^Though Carlos Almanzar did not comment, the Texas Rangers' owner Tom Hicks stated, "It's disappointing, it really is. Our players know the rules. They know they are going to be tested. If any of them get caught, shame on them. I am disappointed."
^Though Félix Heredia did not directly comment, his agent, Martin Arburua, told the New York Times, "We're trying to figure out exactly what it is. Whatever it was, though, he did not knowingly take it. He wasn't playing and had no reason to. He was trying to rehab and get back."
^Matt Lawton said this about his suspension: "I made a terrible and foolish mistake that I will regret for the rest of my life. I take full responsibility for my actions and did not appeal my suspension. I apologize to the fans, the game, my family and all those people that I let down. I am truly sorry and deeply regret my terrible lapse in judgment."
^Though Yusaku Iriki did not comment, the New York Mets released a statement saying, "The Mets are obviously disappointed that a member of our organization has tested positive."
^Guillermo Mota said this about his suspension: "I used extremely poor judgment and deserve to be held accountable. To my teammates and the entire Mets organization, I am sorry. I truly regret what I did and hope that you can forgive me...To baseball fans everywhere, I understand that you are disappointed in me, and I feel terrible and I promise this is the first and last time that this will happen."
^Though Juan Salas did not comment, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays said this: "The Tampa Bay Devil Rays fully support Major League Baseball's drug testing policy. We will do all we can to help Juan get his career headed back on a positive course."
^ abAfter his 25-game suspension, Neifi Pérez said this: "I say to my fans that I am not stupid. I know the difference between good and bad and there are things that are going to be known going forward, but my lawyer has advised me not to talk for now." After his 80-game suspension, Pérez stated: "It's not fair. They called three different positives on a 20-day-period. I was using a medicine that was supposedly authorized by the doctors due to a personal condition."
^Mike Cameron said this about his suspension: "The one thing I wanted to make sure was explained is, no steroids. I never took nothing like that before in my life. That would be 50 games, and that would affect me a whole lot more...After all of the analysis and testing, I can only conclude that a nutritional supplement I was taking was tainted."
^Dan Serafini said this about his suspension: "I want to make it known that I did not use any banned substances in order to gain a competitive advantage. However, while playing baseball in Japan, I suffered two significant injuries...While trying to accelerate the healing process of these injuries, I took substances that were prescribed for me by a doctor in Japan."
^Though José Guillén did not comment, the Kansas City Royals' general manager Dayton Moore stated, "We signed Jose knowing that was a possibility. While my initial reaction is one of disappointment, I am thoroughly convinced that Jose will put this behind him and we collectively support him as he begins a new chapter in his baseball life as a member of the Kansas City Royals."
^Jay Gibbons said this about his suspension: "I am deeply sorry for the mistakes that I have made. I have no excuses and bare sole responsibility for my decisions. Years ago, I relied on the advice of a doctor, filled a prescription, charged the HGH, which is a medication, to my credit card and had only intended to help speed my recovery from my injuries and surgeries."
^Eliézer Alfonzo said this about his suspension: "I made a mistake, and I want to apologize to my family, my teammates, the fans and the Giants organization. I know what I did was wrong, and now I will pay the penalty. As a father, I now have to look my children in the eye and explain to them that I have made a big mistake, one, unfortunately, that they are also going to have to deal with, as well as me."
^J. C. Romero said this about his suspension: "I still cannot see where I did something wrong. There is nothing that should take away from the rings of my teammates. I didn't cheat. I tried to follow the rules."
^Manny Ramirez said this about his suspension: "[A doctor] gave me a medication, not a steroid, which he thought was OK to give me. Unfortunately, the medication was banned under our drug policy. Under the policy, that mistake is now my responsibility. I have been advised not to say anything more for now."
^Edinson Volquez said this about his suspension: "Prior to the conclusion of last season, my wife and I sought medical advice in Cincinnati with the hope of starting a family. As part of my consultation with the physician, I received certain prescribed medications to treat my condition. As a follow up to our original consultation, my wife and I visited another physician in our home city in the Dominican Republic this past off-season. This physician also gave me certain prescribed medications as part of my treatment. Unfortunately, I now know that the medication the physician in the Dominican gave me is one that is often used to treat my condition, but is also a banned substance under Major League Baseball's drug policy. As a result, I tested positive when I reported to spring training. Although I understand that I must accept responsibility for this mistake and have chosen not to challenge my suspension, I want to assure everyone that this was an isolated incident involving my genuine effort to treat a common medical issue and start a family. I was not trying in any way to gain an advantage in my baseball career. I am embarrassed by this whole situation and apologize to my family, friends, fans, teammates, and the entire Reds Organization for being a distraction and for causing them any difficulty. I simply want to accept the consequences, learn from the mistake, and continue to strive to be the best person and baseball player I can be."
^Manny Ramirez chose to retire instead of submitting to the 100-game suspension. However, when he decided to resume his career in 2012, he served the suspension before being able to join the Oakland Athletics.
^Yasmani Grandal said this about his suspension: "I apologize to the fans, my teammates, and to the San Diego Padres. I was disappointed to learn of my positive test and under the Joint Drug Program I am responsible for what I put into my body. I must accept responsibility for my actions and serve my suspension."
^Carlos Ruiz said this about his suspension: "I am sincerely regretful for my mistake in taking a prohibited stimulant. I apologize to my teammates, the Phillies organization and the Philadelphia fans. I look forward to returning to the field and working toward bringing a championship back to Philadelphia in 2013."
^Nelson Cruz said about his suspension: "I am thankful for the unwavering support from my family, friends, and teammates during this difficult time. I am looking forward to regaining the trust and respect of the Rangers' organization, my teammates and the great Rangers fans."
^Jhonny Peralta said about his suspension: "“In spring of 2012, I made a terrible mistake that I deeply regret, I apologize to everyone that I have hurt as a result of my mistake, including my teammates, the Tigers’ organization, the great fans in Detroit, Major League Baseball, and my family. I take full responsibility for my actions, have no excuses for my lapse in judgment and I accept my suspension."
^Miguel Tejada said about his suspension: "“I apologize to my teammates, the Royals organization and to the Kansas City fans. I have a medical condition that requires medication to treat. I took that medication while re-applying for a Therapeutic Use Exemption. Under the requirements of the Joint Drug Program, I made a mistake in doing so."