A-Rod's steroid admission "depressing," Obama says
US President Barack Obama said it was "depressing" to learn that New York Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez had admitted to taking steroids, dpa reported.
The revelation that Rodriguez used performance-enhancing substances from 2001-03 while playing for the Texas Rangers further tarnished the sport during the so-called steroid era, Obama said.
"It's depressing news on top of what's been a flurry of depressing items when it comes to Major League Baseball," he said during his first press conference since taking office on January 20.
Obama took a break from questions about the nation's recession and foreign policy topics to weigh in on the steroid use in baseball that has surfaced in recent years, with allegations against some of the game's top players.
"If you're a fan of Major League Baseball, I think it tarnishes an entire era to some degree," Obama said. "And it's unfortunate, because I think there are a lot of ballplayers who played it straight."
Rodriguez, 33, considered among the best players of his generation and perhaps the history of the game, apologized in an interview with ESPN sports television for taking the banned substances.
"I was stupid for three years. I was very, very stupid," Rodriguez said.
The apology came two days after Sports Illustrated reported that Rodriguez failed a test in 2003, before baseball instituted penalties for steroids. Rodriguez said he began taking steroids in 2001 and stopped after his 2004 trade to the Yankees.