This time around, it’s not about Madonna. Baseball star Alex Rodriguez is in the spotlight once again, and that is due to his alleged, now admitted, use of performance-enhancing drugs.
The Yankees star recently admitted in an exclusive interview with Peter Gammons of ESPN that he used performance-enhancing drugs while playing for the Texas Rangers for three years, beginning in 2001. An emotional Rodriguez recounts succumbing to mounting pressure, as he felt ‘the weight of the world’ on his shoulders and talked about feeling being compelled to ‘perform at a high level everyday’. All these, along with youth and naiveté, apparently pushed him to taking performance enhancing drugs.
Rodriguez recounts further that baseball had a different culture during those days. “I wanted to prove to everyone that I was worth being one of the greatest players of all time,” A-Rod declares. He then humbly admits, “I did take a banned substance. And for that, I am very sorry and deeply regretful”.
No less than President Obama commented on A-Rod’s admission, calling it ‘depressing news’. Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks expressed surprise over Rodriguez’s statements, as he had been assured by the athlete during his stint with the team that drug use was something he would not do.
A-Rod’s admission comes in the wake of a Sports Illustrated feature, released two days before his interview, where his name was among 104 baseball players who tested positive for banned substances in 2003, the year Major League Baseball conducted survey tests to assess the need for drug testing in the sport. No penalties were meted out for positive results during that time.
Alex Rodriguez assures the public, though, that he has been clean since he joined the Yankees in 2004. Many believe, however, that his admission has tainted further the reputation of baseball as a sport in general and his own in particular. This might eventually ruin his chances for a coveted spot among the Baseball Hall of Fame.