In a statement sent to the Associated Press, Mark McGwire actually admitted to using steroids throughout his career including 1998 when he broke Roger Maris’ home run record by hitting 70.
The Admission: “I never knew when, but I always knew this day would come. It’s time for me to talk about the past and to confirm what people have suspected. I used steroids during my playing career and I apologize. I remember trying steroids very briefly in the 1989/1990 off season and then after I was injured in 1993, I used steroids again. I used them on occasion throughout the ’90s, including during the 1998 season.
“I wish I had never touched steroids. It was foolish and it was a mistake. I truly apologize. Looking back, I wish I had never played during the steroid era.”
The Excuse: “During the mid-’90s, I went on the DL seven times and missed 228 games over five years. I experienced a lot of injuries, including a ribcage strain, a torn left heel muscle, a stress fracture of the left heel, and a torn right heel muscle. 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.”
The Obligatory It Didn’t Help Me Hit Homeruns Part: “I’m sure people will wonder if I could have hit all those home runs had I never taken steroids. 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.”
It’s always refreshing when athletes come forward with this in a way where you feel that they are indeed telling the truth. My guess is that this was a very smart thing for McGwire to do. He’s not treating the public like a bunch of nitwits and I think people will forgive him thanks to his honesty (even if it should have come at least five years earlier).
I doubt that this will help him make the Hall of Fame, but maybe he’ll get some respect back. Now if only Roger Clemens will come clean.