BOSTON - The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a 9-2 vote on Wednesday that federal agents violated the players' protections against unreasonable searches and seizures when it confiscated a list of players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
Investigators only had a warrant for 10 drug test results as part of the BALCO investigation into Barry Bonds and others, the court said - not the 104 results it seized.
Although the list was under seal, several names have leaked out, including David Ortiz, Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez and former Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa.
The baseball players agreed in 2003 to survey drug testing without penalties to determine the extent of steroid use in the sport.
In 2004, federal agents obtained a search warrant and seized the records from two labs. The court said Wednesday that the government overstepped its authority.