Alex Rodriguez acknowledged on Monday that he used performance-enhancing drugs while playing for the Texas Rangers from 2001 to 2003,a confession that casts doubt on the achievements of the player widely considered to be the best in baseball.
The admission also makes Rodriguez,who joined the Yankees in 2004 on 10-year $252 million worth contract and has 553 career home runs,the most prominent baseball player to admit that he has knowingly used illegal substances. When I arrived at Texas in 2001,I felt an enormous amount of pressure, Rodriguez told ESPN in an interview. I felt like I had all the weight of the world on top of me and I needed to perform at a high level every day. I was young. I was stupid. I was naïve. And I wanted to prove to everyone that I was worth being one of the greatest players of all time. I did take a banned substance,and for that I am very sorry and deeply regretful.
Rodriguez maintained that he did not know precisely what substances he took and stressed that he has not used performance enhancers since joining the Yankees. His failed test came in 2003,the first year baseball tested for drugs. The testing that year was done on a survey basis,without any penalties,and the results were kept secret. But in April 2004,federal agents seized all of the samples from the 2003 testing as part of their investigation into the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative. On Saturday,Sports Illustrated reported that Rodriguezs 2003 sample was seized.
Rodriguez said he stopped using drugs in 2003 after sustaining a neck injury in spring training. I realized,What am I doing? Not only am I going to hurt my baseball career,Im going to hurt my post-career, Rodriguez said.