More than a decade after Mark McGwire put his name in the baseball record books, the controversial former St. Louis Cardinals slugger elected Monday to finally talk about the past.
McGwire, one of many baseball players in recent years suspected of using steroids to boost performance, admitted Monday to having done so.
"I wish I had never touched steroids," he said in a statement to media outlets. "It was foolish and it was a mistake. I truly apologize. Looking back, I wish I had never played during the steroid era."
The time period of the late 1990s and early 2000s is nicknamed "the steroid era" by people who believe McGwire and other prominent players broke records and inflated their statistics with the help of performance-enhancing drugs.
While McGwire's playing career is over, he signed on to become the Cardinals' hitting instructor starting this season. Team chairman Bill DeWitt, Jr., general manager John Mozeliak and manager Tony LaRussa all issued statements supporting McGwire's announcement Monday.
Public perception of McGwire and several other baseball stars of that time has varied. He and former Chicago Cubs star Sammy Sosa are widely credited with reviving interest in Major League Baseball in 1998 as each surpassed the previous single-season home run record, which had been set in 1961. (Sosa, also suspected by some to have taken steroids, has never admitted to doing so.)
Last week, before McGwire's announcement was made, the Baseball Writers Association of America submitted their yearly Hall of Fame ballots. McGwire was picked by only 23.7 percent of voters, well short of the 75 percent required for induction. While McGwire still has many more chances to be elected, some writers have declared they will not vote for a player who used steroids.
Does McGwire's admission of steroid use change your opinion of him? Does the former superstar belong in the Baseball Hall of Fame?