Alex Rodriguez Press Conference: Steroid Use Discussed (VIDEO)
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Alex Rodriguez offered new details Tuesday about his performance-enhancing drug use, saying his cousin injected him with an over-the-counter substance to gain an energy boost.
The New York Yankees star said using the banned drug that he said he obtained from the Dominican Republic was a "stupid mistake."
"I knew we weren't taking Tic Tacs," said Rodriguez, who was joined at the head table with Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and manager Joe Girardi.
The three-time AL MVP and baseball's highest-paid player met the media 10 days after Sports Illustrated reported that he tested positive in 2003.
Rodriguez started his news conference by reading from a prepared statement. At the end, he paused for 37 seconds -- a dramatic break in which he looked side to side, blinked several times and took a sip of water -- then finally turned to his teammates and said "thank you."
Sitting in the front row were Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada. Jeter, with his arms crossed, and the other three stared right back at Rodriguez as he apologized directly to them.
In an interview with ESPN last week, Rodriguez admitted to using banned drugs from 2001 to 2003 while playing for the Texas Rangers. He insisted then and again Tuesday that he has not used banned drugs since.
"I'm here to take my medicine," Rodriguez said. "One thing I will say after today I hope to focus on baseball. We have a very special team here."
Asked whether his stats during those years should count, he said it wasn't for him to decide.
The 33-year-old Rodriguez has hit 553 home runs and is expected by many to break Barry Bonds' record of 762.
The drug-related apology has become a near-annual February rite for the Yankees.
Jason Giambi gave an ambiguous one at Yankee Stadium on the eve of spring training in 2005.
Pettitte gave an emotional and lengthy one when he arrived at spring training last year.
That confessional lasted 55 minutes. Rodriguez's on Tuesday was far shorter, lasting about 32 minutes before it was cut off.
For years, Rodriguez denied using performance-enhancing drugs. But SI reported he was on a list of 104 players who tested positive during baseball's 2003 survey. SI identified the drugs causing the positive test as Primobolan and testosterone.
The survey was to remain anonymous, but federal agents seized the records and samples from baseball's contractors in April 2004 during raids in connection with the BALCO probe in San Francisco. Although the agents originally had search warrants for the records of 10 players, they discovered the broader records and came back with additional search warrants.
The list of players is under seal, but those seizures remain in dispute. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals currently considering the government's appeal to overturn lower-court decisions in favor of the union.