Alex Rodriguez, above, arrived at Tuesday afternoon’s news conference trailed by Yankees officials and players.
Eight days after admitting his steroid use in a television interview, Alex Rodriguez offered more details in a news conference after his arrival at Yankees spring training camp on Tuesday. With dozens of teammates standing nearby and roughly 200 reporters watching, Rodriguez said he and a cousin had obtained the drugs in the Dominican Republic and injected them for an energy boost.
In his interview last week, which followed the revelation by Sports Illustrated that he tested positive for a banned substance in 2003, Rodriguez said he used illegal drugs from 2001 to 2003 but did not know what he took. On Tuesday, he identified the drug as “boli” but did not name the cousin.
“I knew we weren’t taking Tic Tacs,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said he injected himself with the drug twice a month for six months a year, yet said he did not know if he was using it properly or whether it was safe. Rodriguez, who was 25 years old in 2001 and had already signed a 10-year contract for $252 million, repeatedly said he was young at the time of his drug use.
Alex Rodriguez looking up at photographers on Tuesday. “My mistake was because I was immature and I was stupid,” he said. “I blame myself.”
“It goes back to being young and being curious,” Rodriguez said. “I realized after my neck injury in ’03 that I was being silly and irresponsible and I decided to stop. And I was a young guy.”
Rodriguez began the news conference by reading a prepared statement and took questions for about 30 minutes. He paused for 38 seconds near the start when he tried to address his teammates, from stars like Derek Jeter to rookies like Phil Coke. “Thank you,” Rodriguez finally said.
“I saw tears in his eyes,” said Manager Joe Girardi, who sat at a table with General Manager Brian Cashman and Rodriguez. “I thought he was disappointed that it’s come to this. For him to look over and see his teammates, he was moved. I think he really felt like they were part of his family.”
The Yankees are tied to Rodriguez through 2017, after signing him to a 10-year, $275 million contract in December 2007, when Hank Steinbrenner was more visible atop the organization. (Steinbrenner attended the news conference but his brother, Hal, did not.) Rodriguez has stressed that he has been clean since joining the Yankees in 2004, and said he had never taken human growth hormone.
He did admit to using an over-the-counter supplement called Ripped Fuel when he played for the Seattle Mariners, his team from 1994 through 2000. Ripped Fuel contained the substance ephedra, which increases energy and burns fat.
In 2003, Steve Bechler, a pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles, died after he had been using ephedra. The federal government banned the over-the-counter sale of ephedra in 2004. Major League Baseball added it to its list of banned drugs in 2005 and began testing for it a year later, along with other stimulants.
It is not clear what substance Rodriguez was referring to when he said that he had used the drug “known on the streets as boli or bollee.” Rodriguez said his cousin bought the drug legally in the Dominican Republic.
“I’ve never heard of this name for a drug,” Gary Wadler, an internist and member of the World Anti-Doping Agency, said in a telephone interview. “It seems to me that it sounds like it could be Primobolan.”
|Your name: *|
|Your email: *|
|Recepient's email: *|
|Enter code: *|