Giambi says MLB should own up to presence of drugs

Updated: May 18, 2007, 4:41 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

CHICAGO -- New York Yankees slugger Jason Giambi says Major League Baseball should apologize to the public for its widespread performance-enhancing drug problem.

I was wrong for doing that stuff. ... What we should have done a long time ago was stand up -- players, ownership, everybody -- and said, 'We made a mistake.'

-- Jason Giambi

Claiming he's likely been tested for performance-enhancing drugs more often than anyone, Giambi told USA Today in a story on its Web site Friday that the apology is long overdue.

"Unfortunately, [the rumors] are going to be a part of it. But that's OK. I'm probably tested more than anybody else. I'm not hiding anything," Giambi told the newspaper. "That stuff didn't help me hit home runs. I don't care what people say, nothing is going to give you that gift of hitting a baseball."

"I was wrong for doing that stuff," Giambi said Wednesday before the Yankees played the Chicago White Sox. "What we should have done a long time ago was stand up -- players, ownership, everybody -- and said, 'We made a mistake.'

"We should have apologized back then and made sure we had a rule in place and gone forward. Steroids and all of that was a part of history. But it was a topic that everybody wanted to avoid. Nobody wanted to talk about it."

Giambi reportedly told a grand jury during the BALCO investigation in December 2003 that he used steroids and human growth hormone. He told USA Today this week he's thankful for MLB's testing program for steroids and amphetamines that was revised before last season. MLB does not test for HGH, but Giambi said he does not use the drug.

When asked, "So why did you take steroids?" Giambi told the newspaper "Maybe one day I'll talk about it, but not now."

Entering Friday's game against the New York Mets, Giambi was hitting .273 (33 for 121) with five home runs and 18 RBIs. He has recently been hampered by a bone spur in his left heel.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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