Alex Rodriguez Admits to Past Steroid Use

Alex Rodriguez Admits to Past Steroid Use
Alex Rodriguez
Anthony J. Causi/Splash News Online

02/09/2009 AT 03:30 PM EST

Alex Rodriguez admits he took performance-enhancing drugs while playing for the Texas Rangers six years ago.

"I did take a banned substance," Rodriguez, 33, says in a new interview with ESPN. "For that, I'm very sorry and deeply regretful."

In 2003, the baseball player tested positive for steroids but never acknowledged any responsibility for his actions, nor was he penalized.

"When I arrived in Texas in 2001, I felt an enormous amount of pressure," Rodriguez tells ESPN. "I needed to perform, and perform at a high level every day.

"Back then, [baseball] was a different culture," he says. "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."

While Rodriguez says he doesn't know the exact substances he took at the time, sources told Sports Illustrated recently that he tested positive for testosterone and the anabolic steroid Primobolan.

Subsequently, the baseball star says he no longer feels like he needs performance-enhancing drugs. "My years in New York have been clean," the Yankees star says, hoping that his new admission will help everybody move forward.

Says Rodriguez: "The more honest we can all be, the quicker we can get baseball to where it needs to be."

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