Alex Rodriguez admitted using a "banned substance" from 2001 to 2003 while playing for the Texas Rangers. Just 48 hours after Sports Illustrated’s Selena Roberts and David Epstein reported that Rodriguez had tested positive for two anabolic steroids, testosterone and Primobolan, in 2003’s MLB “survey” testing, Rodriguez was interviewed by ESPN’s Peter Gammons.
"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. Back then, [baseball] was a different culture. It was very loose. I was young. I was stupid. I was naive. 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 described some of the reasons he began using steroids, from the pressure of his massive $252 million contract to the draining heat of Texas.
"I felt a tremendous pressure to play, and play really well. I had just signed this enormous contract ... I felt like I needed something, a push, without over-investigating what I was taking, to get me to the next level."
Rodriguez did not did not mince words when he spoke of Sports Illustrated writer, Selena Roberts.
"I know this lady from Sports Illustrated, Selena Roberts, is trying to throw things out there, that in high school I tried steroids. I mean that’s the biggest bunch of baloney I’ve ever heard in my life. What makes me upset me is that Sports Illustrated pays this lady, Selena Roberts, to stalk me. I mean this lady’s been thrown out of my apartment in New York City. This lady has, five days ago just, been thrown out of the University of Miami City Police for trespassing. Four days ago, she tried to break into my house where my girls are up there sleeping and got cited by the Miami Beach Police, I have the paper here. This lady’s coming out with all these allegations, all these lies because she’s writing an article for Sports Illustrated, and she’s coming out with a book in May. Really respectable journalists are following this lady off the cliff, and following her lead. And that to me is unfortunate."
Roberts responded to Rodriguez’s claims.
"The allegations made by Alex Rodriguez are absurd," said Roberts, in the statement. "I've never set foot in the lobby of Alex's New York apartment building, never spoken to the University of Miami police, and never set foot on his home property or been cited by the Miami Police for doing so."
Rodriguez’s former and current teams have now commented on the situation. Texas Rangers’ owner, Tom Hicks, said the following in a conference call, according to The Associated Press.
"I feel personally betrayed. I feel deceived by Alex. He assured me that he had far too much respect for his own body to ever do that to himself. ... I certainly don't believe that if he's now admitting that he started using when he came to the Texas Rangers, why should I believe that it didn't start before he came to the Texas Rangers?"
The New York Yankees issued a statement.
"We urged Alex to be completely open, honest and forthcoming in addressing his use of performance-enhancing drugs," it read. "We take him at his word that he was. Although we are disappointed in the mistake he spoke to today, we realize that Alex -- like all of us --is a human being not immune to fault.
Watch the entire Alex Rodriguez interview with Peter Gammons below.