A-Rod's response to steroids report will be key

NEW YORK (AP) - Alex Rodriguez faces a decision far more important to his career than deciding where to sign, whether to accept a trade or if and when to opt out of his contract.

How A-Rod responds to a report that he tested positive for steroids in 2003 will likely frame his pursuit of the career home run record. It also could define his playing days in the view of fans and Hall of Fame voters.

Does he confess to taking performance-enhancers, as Andy Pettitte did? Does he deny, as Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens have?

Does he all but confess, the route chosen by Jason Giambi? Does he refuse to discuss his past, as Mark McGwire did before a congressional committee?

He's already been labeled as "A-Fraud" in former Yankees manager Joe Torre's new book and "A-Roid" in the New York tabloids.

That's after Sports Illustrated reported on its Web site Saturday that he's on a list of 104 players who tested positive in 2003. He was with the Texas Rangers that year. The results came was during baseball's confidential survey testing, which wasn't subject to discipline. SI.com said he tested positive for Primobolan and testosterone.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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