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Mark McGwire admits using steroids

By RONALD BLUM, AP Sports Writer Modified: January 11, 2010 at 4:13 pm •  Published: January 11, 2010
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NEW YORK — Mark McGwire finally came clean Monday, admitting he used steroids when he broke baseball's home run record in 1998.

McGwire said in a statement sent to The Associated Press on Monday that he used steroids on and off for nearly a decade.

"I wish I had never touched steroids," McGwire said in a statement. "It was foolish and it was a mistake. I truly apologize. Looking back, I wish I had never played during the steroid era."

McGwire also used human growth hormone, a person close to McGwire said, speaking on condition of anonymity because McGwire didn't include that detail in his statement.

McGwire's decision to admit using steroids was prompted by his decision to become hitting coach of the St. Louis Cardinals, his final big league team. Tony La Russa, McGwire's manager in Oakland and St. Louis, has been among McGwire's biggest supporters and thinks returning to the field can restore the former slugger's reputation.

"I never knew when, but I always knew this day would come," McGwire said. "It's time for me to talk about the past and to confirm what people have suspected."

He became the second major baseball star in less than a year to admit using illegal steroids, following the New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez last February.

Others have been tainted but have denied knowingly using illegal drugs, including Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and David Ortiz.

Bonds has been indicted on charges he made false statements to a federal grand jury and obstructed justice. Clemens is under investigation by a federal grand jury trying to determine whether he lied to a congressional committee.

"I'm sure people will wonder if I could have hit all those home runs had I never taken steroids," McGwire said. "I had good years when I didn't take any, and I had bad years when I didn't take any. I had good years when I took steroids, and I had bad years when I took steroids. But no matter what, I shouldn't have done it and for that I'm truly sorry."

Big Mac's reputation has been in tatters since March 17, 2005, when he refused to answer questions at a Congressional hearing. Instead, he repeatedly said "I'm not here to talk about the past" when asked whether he took illegal steroids when he hit a then-record 70 home runs in 1998 or at any other time.

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