Feb. 25, 2005 -- -- Governor, movie star and former professional bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger admits to using steroids, but says he has no regrets.
The seven-time Mr. Olympia winner told ABC News's George Stephanopoulos that even knowing what he knows now about the performance-enhancing drugs, he would still have used them.
"I have no regrets about it," said Schwarzenegger, "because at that time, it was something new that came on the market, and we went to the doctor and did it under doctors' supervision. We were experimenting with it. It was a new thing. So you can't roll the clock back and say, 'Now I would change my mind on this.' "
Still, Schwarzenegger says, he does not encourage anyone to use drugs. "Because it is the wrong message, like you say, to the children," he said, adding, "But people should take food supplements, people should be able to take the vitamins and all of the nutritious stuff that is available, but stay away from drugs."
Schwarzenegger also said he wants bodybuilding to be seen as a respectable sport. "Of course we want to keep the sport clean. It says 'bodybuilding,' not 'body-destroying.' It's bodybuilding. Of course we want to go in that direction."
Asked why he recently vetoed a bill that would have required high school coaches in California to teach about the dangers of steroids and illegal substances, the governor said it was because the bill lumped legal performance-enhancing food supplements in with illegal drugs. "It's ludicrous to forbid this for a student to take. Because if you take a protein food supplement that is made out of milk protein, out of milk, or out of soybean, or out of liver or fish that has maybe 90 percent protein, they will enhance your performance, because that's what you need in order to get strong, is protein. Why would that be outlawed? It comes from a natural source. Or to take vitamins -- Vitamin E gives you more energy, so therefore it is enhancing your performance."
He also said it was already illegal to sell performance-enhancing drugs in California schools.