Rodriguez admits to using performance-enhancing drugs
By Ronald Blum
NEW YORK ó Alex Rodriguez admitted Monday that he used performance-enhancing drugs from 2001-03, saying he did so because of the pressures of being baseball’s highest-paid player.
“When I arrived in Texas in 2001, I felt an enormous amount of pressure,” the New York Yankees star said in an interview with ESPN that was broadcast Monday shortly after it was recorded. “I felt like I had all the weight of the world on top of me and I needed to perform, and perform at a high level every day.”
His admission came two days after Sports Illustrated reported he tested positive for steroids in 2003, one of 104 players who tested positive during baseball’s survey testing, which wasn’t subject to discipline and was supposed to remain anonymous.
“And I did take a banned substance and, you know, for that I’m very sorry and deeply regretful,” Rodriguez said. “And although it was the culture back then and Major League Baseball overall was very ó I just feel that ó You know, I’m just sorry. I’m sorry for that time. I’m sorry to fans. I’m sorry for my fans in Texas. It wasn’t until then that I ever thought about substance of any kind, and since then I’ve proved to myself and to everyone that I don’t need any of that.”
The 33-year-old All-Star third baseman was regarded by many in baseball as the most likely to break Bonds’ all-time home run record of 762. He’s already 12th on the career list with 553 homers.
Rodriguez hit 52, 57 and 47 homers in his three seasons with the Rangers, winning the first of three AL MVP awards during his final season with Texas, where he received a $252 million, 10-year contract in December 2000.
“Back then it was a different culture,” Rodriguez said. “It was very loose. I was young. I was stupid. I was naive, and I wanted to prove to everyone that, you know, I was worth, you know ó and being one of the greatest players of all time.”
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