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David Ortiz blasts those who believe he’s a drug cheat

David Ortiz says he has been tested for PEDs more than 80 times.
David Ortiz says he has been tested for PEDs more than 80 times.AP

Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz made an impassioned defense of himself regarding the suspicions of performance-enhancing drug use that have followed him in an essay published Thursday on The Players' Tribune.

"Some people still look at me like I'm a cheater because my name was on a list of players who got flagged for PEDs in 2003. Let me tell you something about that test. Most guys were taking over-the-counter supplements then. Most guys are still taking over-the-counter supplements. If it's legal, ballplayers take it," Ortiz wrote.

Suspicion of PED use has followed Ortiz for years. He also wrote that he deserves to be in the Baseball Hall of Fame, and rails against baseball writers and Major League Baseball's drug testing procedures and policies.

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"Hell yes I deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. I've won three World Series since MLB introduced comprehensive drug testing. I've performed year after year after year. But if a bunch of writers who have never swung a bat want to tell me it's all for nothing, OK. Why do they write my legacy?" Ortiz wrote.

The Players Tribune is a website started by former Yankees star Derek Jeter that features first-person stories by professional athletes.