Mark McGwire admits to using steroids
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One of baseball’s most celebrated and controversial sluggers has decided to come clean.
In a statement to the Associated Press, Mark McGwire admitted today to using steroids when he broke the major league home run record in 1998. He said he used steroids for nearly a decade and that he was remorseful for his actions.
‘I wish I had never touched steroids,’ McGwire said. ‘It was foolish and it was a mistake. I truly apologize. Looking back, I wish I had never played during the steroid era.’
[Updated at 12:57 p.m.: McGwire told the Associated Press he took steroids throughout the 1990s. He said he initially took them while with the Oakland Athletics during the 1989-90 offseason.
From there, McGwire said he took steroids to help him bounce back from injury. The 12-time all-star selection said he used steroids after suffering an injury in 1993 and that he used them again in 1998 when he broke Roger Maris’ home run record.
‘I went on the DL seven times and missed 228 games over five years,’ McGwire said. ‘...It was definitely a miserable bunch of years, and I told myself that steroids could help me recover faster. I thought they would help me heal and prevent injuries, too.’
McGwire said his new job as the St. Louis Cardinals’ hitting coach spurred his decision to come clean. He told Cardinals Manager Tony LaRussa of his steroid use this morning.
Since his retirement in 2001, McGwire has been the subject of controversy due to allegations that he used performance-enhancing drugs. His reputation took a further hit when he refused to answer questions about his drug use while appearing before a Congressional committee in 2005.
McGwire is the second hall-of-fame caliber player to admit to using steroids. Last year, New York Yankees shortstop Alex Rodriguez admitted he used steroids. Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte admitted to taking human-growth hormone in 2008. Several other players including Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens have denied knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs.
It remains to be seen whether McGwire’s admission will be enough to earn him a selection into the Baseball Hall of Fame someday.]
We’ll have more on McGwire later at latimes.com/sports.
-- Austin Knoblauch
The Associated Press contributed to this report