Feb. 9, 2009— -- New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez admitted to ESPN's Peter Gammons today in an exclusive interview that he took performance-enhancing drugs from 2001 to 2003.
"I did take a banned substance, and for that, I'm very sorry," Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez told Gammons that he felt an "enormous amount of pressure" when he arrived as a member of the Texas Rangers in 2001 after signing the largest contract in Major League Baseball history.
"Back then, [baseball] was a different culture. It was very loose. I was young, I was stupid, I was naive. I wanted to prove to everyone I was worth being one of the greatest players of all time," Rodriguez said. "I'm guilty of being negligent and naive and not asking the right questions."
He said he took the banned substances from 2001 to 2003 and has not taken any since.
"Since then, I've proved to myself and to everyone that I don't need any of that," he said.
Rodriguez was voted the American League's Most Valuable Player in 2003, when he belted 47 home runs and led the league in slugging.
"I just feel that I'm sorry for that time, I'm sorry for fans, I'm sorry for family in Texas," Rodriguez said today.
Rodriguez reportedly tested positive for the banned substances Primobolan and testosterone in 2003 while still with the Texas Rangers, a year before Major League Baseball implemented a program to suspend players who were found using performance-enhancing drugs, according to a report from Sports Illustrated.
His sample, along with 103 other players who tested positive, could legally have been destroyed by the players union, but for reasons still unknown, the samples were kept and later seized by federal investigators.