Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A-Rod took banned substance

Already the highest-paid player, Alex Rodriguez wanted to prove himself one of the greatest. Instead, he wound up atop another list: the highest-profile player to confess to cheating in baseball's steroids era.

The All-Star third baseman, responding to a weekend Sports Illustrated report that he flunked a drug test, told ESPN yesterday he used banned substances while playing with the Texas Rangers from 2001-03 to justify his 10-year, $252 million contract.

The admission came two days after Sports Illustrated reported on its Web site that Rodriguez was among 104 names on a list of players who tested positive for steroids in 2003, when testing was intended to determine the extent of steroid use in baseball. The results weren't subject to discipline and were supposed to remain anonymous, but were seized by the government in 2004 and remain under seal.

"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," Rodriguez said.

"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."

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