Former first baseman Mark McGwire ended years of speculation on Monday when he admitted to using steroids during his career, including his record-breaking home run season of 1998.
"I wish I had never touched steroids," McGwire said in a statement. "It was foolish and it was a mistake. I truly apologize. Looking back, I wish I had never played during the steroid era."
The heat was turned up on McGwire ever since his statement during a congressional hearing on steroids in 2005. McGwire, who said then, "I'm not going to go into the past or talk about my past," finally opened up.
"I never knew when, but I always knew this day would come," McGwire said. "It's time for me to talk about the past and to confirm what people have suspected."
McGwire was hired as the St. Louis Cardinals hitting coach in late October, but was absent during the press conference to announce his hiring. Following years away from the media and from baseball, his return to the public light made a statement of admission necessary.
"After all this time, I want to come clean," he said. "I was not in a position to do that five years ago in my congressional testimony, but now I feel an obligation to discuss this and to answer questions about it. I'll do that, and then I just want to help my team."
McGwire owns the rookie record for home runs in a season when he belted 49 home runs in 1987 with the Oakland Athletics. It was there he teamed with Jose Canseco who labeled McGwire a steroid user in his revealing book Juiced which ignited steroid furor across baseball.
McGwire was traded to the Cardinals in July of 1997. The following season he set a then all-time single-season home run mark when he clubbed 70 home runs.
"I remember trying steroids very briefly in the 1989/1990 offseason and then after I was injured in 1993, I used steroids again," McGwire said in his statement. "I used them on occasion throughout the '90s, including during the 1998 season."