New York Yankee third baseman Alex Rodguez, baseball's highest paid player at $25 million per season, has admitted to using steroids from 2001-2003, when he was with the Texas Rangers, after the news had been leaked by Sports Illustrated. He said he had wanted to justify to himself that he was worth that kind of salary.
A-Rod's name was on a list of 104 players who had tested positive for steroids. The results were supposed to remain private and the users are not subject to discipline. He says he quit during spring training in 2003 and has not used them while with the Yankees.
"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 — and being one of the greatest players of all time."
"When I arrived in Texas in 2001, I felt an enormous amount of pressure. 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."
"And I did take a banned substance and, you know, for that I'm very sorry and deeply regretful. And although it was the culture back then and Major League Baseball overall was very — I just feel that — 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."
In his first prime-time news conference, President Barack Obama called Rodriguez's admission "depressing" news.
"And if you're a fan of Major League Baseball, I think it tarnishes an entire era, to some degree," Obama said. "And it's unfortunate, because I think there were a lot of ballplayers who played it straight."
SI reported Rodriguez tested positive for Primobolan and testosterone.
The Yankees said in a statement that "we urged Alex to be completely open, honest and forthcoming" and that "we take him at his word that he was."
"Although we are disappointed in the mistake he spoke to today, we realize that Alex — like all of us — is a human being not immune to fault," the team said. "We support Alex, and we will do everything we can to help him deal with this challenge."