A-Rod speaks out about drug use

Apologizes in nationally televised news conference

NEW YORK -- Ten days after the allegations about a failed 2003 drug test came out in Sports Illustrated, Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez answered questions from reporters in a nationally televised news conference.

Rodriguez told reporters that he was there to "tell the truth and apologize to my teammates and baseball fans everywhere" and to talk about what he took and where he got it. He acknowledged he had taken a performance enhancing drug that he purchased with his cousin in the Dominican Republic and took it by injection, believing that it gave "a dramatic energy boost but (was) otherwise harmless." He said that he did not take human growth hormone but did take another substance, which was available over the counter, but was later pulled and banned from Major League Baseball.

The news conference was carried live on cable news, where it also competed with the scheduled signing by President Barack Obama of the stimulus bill. Because everything's Yankees-related in New York City, all but one of the city's major TV stations carried the news conference live.

"I know a lot of people are going to talk about my future, as though it's already been determined," Rodriguez said. "However, I realize these opinions are out of my control." He said that spring training, which began a few days ago, represents a new start for him. But he did tell reporters that he was sure there would be "questions about everything that I did in that period."

He also acknowledged that last week he had called Sports Illustrated writer Selena Roberts, who broke the story. He told ESPN's Peter Gammons in an exclusive interview that "Sports Illustrated pays this lady, Selena Roberts, to stalk me."

He stopped short of apologizing but said they had a "very good" conversation.

"It was a misunderstanding of the facts, it went well, and we both decided to put it behind us," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez was asked about the "60 Minutes" interview in December 2007 where he denied to Katie Couric that he had taken performance enhancing drugs. He said he called Couric recently.

"I reached out to her about 10 days ago. When you're in denial, when you're not being honest with yourself, it's hard to be honest with Katie," Rodriguez said.
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