Baseball commissioner Bud Selig said today that Alex Rodriguez has “shamed the game,” but indicated no plans to punish the disgraced Yankees superstar.
USA Today had reported Wednesday that Selig was considering suspending Rodriguez, the three-time American League Most Valuable Player who confirmed four days ago that he used unspecified performance-enhancing drugs from 2001-03 while playing for the Texas Rangers.
“I am saddened by the revelations,” Selig said in a statement issued today. “What Alex did was wrong, and he will have to live with the damage he has done to his name and reputation.”
Rodriguez’s admission came two days after Sports Illustrated reported on its website that he was among 104 names on a list of players who tested positive for steroids in 2003, when testing was intended to determine the extent of steroid use in baseball. The results weren’t subject to discipline and were supposed to remain anonymous.
“It is important to remember that these recent revelations relate to pre-program activity,” Selig said. “Under our current drug program, if you are caught using steroids and/or amphetamines, you will be punished. Since 2005, every player who has tested positive for steroids has been suspended for as much as 50 games.”
Players and owners didn’t agree to a joint drug program until August 2002, and testing with punishment didn’t start until 2004.
“We are fully committed to ridding our game of steroids and other performance-enhancing substances. These drugs and those who use them and facilitate their use threaten the integrity of our sport,” Selig said. “. . . We will not rest or relax our efforts until the use of these illegal drugs are gone from baseball.”
In Wednesday’s interview with USA Today, Selig also revealed he is considering reinstating Hank Aaron as baseball’s home run king in the record book. Barry Bonds broke Aaron’s record of 755 home runs in 2007 but is also embroiled in an ongoing PED scandal.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.