A-Rod admitted in an interview with ESPN today that he took performance enhancing drugs while playing for the Texas Rangers in 2001-2003.
The baseball player was signed to a 10-year $252 million contract with the Rangers at the end of 2000. MLB.com reports that "at the time, it was the largest contract given to a professional athlete, and it sent shock waves through the baseball industry."
The weight of the massive contract and heightened expectations seems to have prompted A-Rod's use of a banned substance: "When I arrived in Texas in 2001, I felt an enormous amount of pressure, felt all the weight of the world on top of me to perform, and perform at a high level every day," Rodriguez told ESPN.
Rodriguez stopped using the PEDs in 2003, he said.
The interview excerpts (the rest airs tonight) offer insight into why some baseball players turned to steroids--too much pressure and too-high expectations. Like any employee going to extreme lengths to impress an employer (or board member or investor)--the danger is a total loss of perspective. One begins to compromise health and/or ethics to get results.
"Back then, [baseball] was a different culture," Rodriguez said. "It was very loose. I was young, I was stupid, I was naïve. I wanted to prove to everyone that I was worth being one of the greatest players of all time."