At his press conference in Tampa today, Alex Rodriguez said he didn’t know that the substance he took back in 2003-2005 — which he identified as something known in “the streets of DR” as “Bole,” presumably the anabolic steroid Primobolan — was a steroid. He referred to taking the substance as “stupid” and “ignorant” at several points, and generally portrayed the experiment as a youthful misadventure. (A-Rod was in his mid-twenties at the time.)
Brian Cashman, Joe Girardi, Hank Steinbrener and several Yankees were on hand, but did not speak at the conference. Cashman and Girardi are expected to speak later.
A-Rod said he and a cousin, who experimented with him and whom he declined to name, “knew we weren’t taking tic-tacs,” but didn’t think about whether it was a banned substance.
At one point he started to say, “And to my teammates,” and took a very, very long pause, evidently emotional, before the Yankees’ Jason Zillo started a Q&A session.
He said he stopped using the substance because in 2003 he had a “serious neck injury,” and because the players voted for the drug policy now in place. Since then he said he’s been tested regularly — and took a test today, and will take one next week for the upcoming Baseball Classic.
He also revealed that back in his Mariners days, he took “ripped fuel,” an ephedra derivative, before it was banned by MLB and removed from GNC shelves, but stopped before it became illegal. He also said he never took human growth hormone.
Someone else asked if A-Rod noticed a benefit from the drug. He said he’s not sure: “When you take anything, it’s half mental and half physical. If you take a glass of water and say this will make me a better baseball player…” Someone else asked how, if he was taking it once or twice a month for three years, he didn’t know what it was doing for him? But he begged off again that he had been “stupid.”
Asked if he thought it was cheating, he said “that’s not for me to determine,” and repeated that he had been young and stupid. He said he “made a lot of mistakes,” that he would “handle them and move forward,” and that “baseball is a lot bigger than Alex Rodriguez.”
“I laid my bed,” he said, “and now I’m gonna have to sit on it. I have to take my medicine,” presumably referring to the questions. He said he’d had a rough year with his divorce and “the tabloids,” but hoped people would judge him by his future actions.