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Selig slams A-Rod but says little on penalty

MAJOR League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said on Thursday that Alex Rodriguez had "shamed the game" with his admission of doping but gave no indication the New York Yankees slugger would be disciplined.

Rodriguez, a three-time American League MVP, said on Monday he was one of 104 players who tested positive in a confidential doping survey in 2003. The 33-year-old admitted he had used performance-enhancing drugs from 2001-2003 when he played for the Texas Rangers.

"On behalf of Major League Baseball, I am saddened by the revelations concerning Alex Rodriguez's use of performance-enhancing substances," Selig said.

"While Alex deserves credit for publicly confronting the issue, there is no valid excuse for using such substances and those who use them have shamed the game.

"What Alex did was wrong and he will have to live with the damage he has done to his name and reputation. His actions are also a reminder to everyone in baseball - under our current drug program, if you are caught using steroids and/or amphetamines, you will be punished."

Positive test

Although there were no penalties for a positive test in 2003, confidential testing was conducted by MLB in agreement with the players' union to determine if random testing should be introduced the following year.

"Since 2005, every player who has tested positive for steroids has been suspended for as much as 50 games," Selig said. "Eradicating performance-enhancing substances from the game of baseball has been my first priority over the past decade and it is important to remember that these recent revelations relate to pre-program activity."

Rodriguez, one year into a 10-year, US$275 million contract with the Yankees, said he had cheated during his three seasons with the Texas Rangers starting in 2001.

"When I arrived in Texas in 2001, I felt an enormous amount of pressure," he said. "I felt like I had all the weight of the world on top of me to perform and perform at a high level every day.

"Back then it was a different culture. It was very loose. I was young, I was stupid, I was naive. And I wanted to prove to everyone that I was worth being one of the greatest players of all time."


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