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Former pitcher Pedro Martinez played against Sosa for many years.
"This news would make me feel terrible if it is proven that Sammy tested positive," Martinez said in the Dominican Republic.
This is a problem of all of baseball, not just Dominican baseball. But in reality, this is a problem of education that has to be attacked," he said.
Sosa, now 40, and McGwire engaged in a race in 1998 to break Roger Maris' season record of 61 homers, a chase that captivated the country. McGwire set the mark while Sosa, with a big smile and a trademark hop out of the batter's box, finished with 66.
Sosa followed up by hitting 63, 50, 64, and 49 homers in his next four years. He hit 40 more in 2003, a season in which he was caught using a corked bat in front of his home crowd at Wrigley Field.
Baseball management's drug policy has prohibited steroid use without a prescription since 1991, but the enforceability was repeatedly questioned by the union, which did not reach a drug agreement until August 2002. There were no penalties for a positive test in 2003 -- those tests were conducted to determine if it was necessary to impose mandatory random drug testing across the major leagues in 2004.
As part of the drug agreement, the results of the testing of 1,198 players in 2003 were meant to be anonymous. Penalties began in 2004, and suspensions for a first positive test started in 2005.
Government agents initially obtained search warrants in 2004 for the drug-testing records of 10 players as part of the BALCO investigation that led to Bonds' indictment but they found the more expansive list on a spreadsheet, obtained additional warrants and seized the larger group of records.
The union went to court, arguing the search was illegal, and three U.S. District Judges agreed. The government appealed, and a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled for the government, but the entire 9th Circuit threw out the reversal and decided to hear the case itself. The hearing was in December, and the decision is pending. The losing side could appeal to the Supreme Court.
AP writer Dionisio Soldevila in the Dominican Republic contributed to this report.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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