2/09/2009 02:36:00 PM

A-Rod: "I Was Young, I Was Stupid, I Was Naïve"

Posted by Mark McCray |


His voice shaking at times, Alex Rodriguez met head-on allegations that he tested positive for steroids six years ago, telling ESPN on Monday that he did take performance-enhancing drugs while playing for the Texas Rangers during a three-year period beginning in 2001.

"When I arrived in Texas in 2001, I felt an enormous amount of pressure. I needed to perform, and perform at a high level every day," Rodriguez told ESPN's Peter Gammons in an interview in Miami Beach, Fla. "Back then, [baseball] was a different culture. It was very loose. I was young, I was stupid, I was naïve. I wanted to prove to everyone I was worth being one of the greatest players of all time.

"I did take a banned substance. For that, I'm very sorry and deeply regretful."

Rodriguez's admission comes 48 hours after Sports Illustrated reported that Rodriguez was on a list of 104 players who tested positive for banned substances in 2003, the year when Major League Baseball conducted survey tests to see if mandatory, random drug-testing was needed in the sport.

Sources who know about the testing results told SI that Rodriguez tested positive for testosterone and Primobolan, an anabolic steroid. In his ESPN interview, Rodriguez said he did not know exactly which substance or substances he had taken. In 2003, there were no penalties for a positive result.

"I am sorry for my Texas years," A-Rod said. "I apologize to the fans of Texas."

Rodriguez, who joined the Yankees for the 2004 season after a trade from Texas, said "all my years in New York have been clean." He also said it felt good to be honest about what he's done in the past.

"The more honest we can all be, the quicker we can get baseball [back] to where it needs to be," he said.

Rodriguez said he was told by Gene Orza, the chief operating officer of the MLB Players' Association, that he might, or might not, have tested positive in the 2003 survey. A source told ESPN on Saturday that Rodriguez knew he had failed the test.

"I had never heard anything since," he said. "Whatever I was experimenting with in Texas might have been OK."

Rodriguez also said of his 2007 interview with Katie Couric on "60 Minutes," when he denied ever using steroids, that "at the time, I wasn't being truthful with myself. How could I be truthful with Katie Couric or CBS?"

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