By Melva N. Lloyd
McGwire admitted to the Associated Press on Monday that steroids and human growth hormones played a part in his journey to becoming the MLB’s home-run king.
During the 20 minute interview the 12-time All-Star admitted that although he knew “this day was going to come” he didn’t know when. “The toughest thing is my wife, my parents, close friends have had no idea that I hid it from them all this time.”
McGwire expressed regret and stated that he began using steroids and human growth hormones on and off for a decade, starting before the 1990 season; including the year he broke Roger Maris’ single-season home run record in 1998.
In 2005 the former AL Rookie of the Year sat before a congressional committee where instead of refuting his alleged steroid use, he said “I’m not here to talk about the past.” His refusal to answer any questions with straighforward responses resulted in criticism and his dissapreance from the public eye.
In October he was hired by his former team, the St. Louis Cardinals, to work as their hitting coach. His new position only led him to come forward about his past trangressions.
Throughout all of this, McGwire admitted that breaking the news to his 22-year old son, Matt, was the hardest thing he had to do.
“He’s very, very understandable. So are my parents,” McGwire said. “The biggest thing that they said is they’re very proud of me, that I’m doing this. They all believe it’s for the better. And then I just hope we can move on from this and start my new career as a coach.”
McGwire was tied for eighth during his career with 583 home runs, averaging a homerun every 10.6 at-bats – a league best. At the peak of the Steroids Era in 2001, McGwire’s season-best 70 homeruns was surpassed only by Barry Bonds (73).
After missing 27 games during the 1993 season with a heel injury he was told that steroids could speed up his recovery.
The Former Oakland A became the second professional baseball player in less than a year to admist to using performance enhacing drugs, the first being Alex Rodriguez. Coincidentally, A-Rod and McGwire are currently tied on the home-run list.
McGwire is aware of the backlash that he will ultimately face for briging his steroid use to light but in all actuality, who was really surprised?
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