I have tried to model my baseball career, and indeed my entire life, on the
premise that "your body is your temple." The suggestion that I would use steroids or
other illegal drugs is totally incompatible with who I am and what I stand for. I have
worked hard to succeed at every level. I have given speeches to young people all over
the country about the dangers of taking shortcuts to reach your goals. Steroids are a
dangerous shortcut. I have made no secret about my feelings on this subject, and I
practice what I preach.
I would like to tell you a little bit about myself. I was not born with a silver spoon
in my mouth. My step-father died when I was a young boy. I was raised by a hardworking
mother and grandmother who took care of and provided for six children. My
mother was a wonderful woman who sacrificed her own needs for the needs of her
children. My mother worked several jobs to make sure that I always had new sporting
equipment, even though she often went without new clothes. My mother insisted that I
attend college, despite that fact that professional baseball teams approached me after
My mother nurtured my interest in sports, including baseball, from a very young
age. She taught me through her example that hard work and determination were the
only ways to be successful and reach goals. Shortcuts were never an option. It
probably comes as no surprise that I firmly believe that much of what I have
accomplished would not have been possible without the valuable lessons instilled in me
by my mother and grandmother.
I have not gotten to where I am today by accident. My hard work and dedication
were instrumental to me achieving many career goals. The awards, accomplishments,
and milestones I have achieved during my career have been fully documented by the
media and I will not repeat them here. I will say, however, that none of these
accomplishments came easily and none of them came in a bottle of steroids or human
I cherish my major league baseball experience, but I have always said that
baseball is what I do; it is not who I am. Anyone who has spent time around me knows
that my family is and has always been my top priority. My wife, Debbie, and my sons -
Koby, Kory, Kacy, and Kody - mean more to me than anything in this world. Having
said that, baseball has definitely provided me with significant opportunities off the field.
I have had the privilege and honor to visit our troops in Kuwait, Qatar, and
Afghanistan and salute them as our nation's true role models. Through the work of my
foundation, I have had many chances to influence special needs youngsters. I have
had many chances to influence young athletes who have just begun to experience the
value and challenges of working with a team to achieve a common goal. These
experiences mean as much to me, if not more, than anything I ever accomplished on
Over the course of my career, I have had the opportunity to work with many
trainers, chiropractors, physical therapists and other professionals to try to educate
myself and to use the knowledge they had to keep my body in the best shape it could
possibly be. Brian McNamee was one of the many people I met and worked with during
I met McNamee while playing for the Toronto Blue Jays in 1998. I trusted him,
put my faith in him, and brought him around my family and my children. I treated him
just like I have done others I have met in my life; like family. There were times over the
years in which I wondered about what kind of person he was and what he was doing when he was not around me. I questioned McNamee about these things, and at the
end of the day, I was willing to take him at his word and give him the benefit of the
doubt. McNamee was good at what he did-helping me exercise, diet, and stay in
shape. We shared an interest in grueling, military-style workouts, but I never asked him
nor did he ever give me steroids or human growth hormone. I had no idea that this man
would exploit the trust I gave him to try to save his own skin by making up lies that have
devastated me and my family.
I am a positive person and enjoy doing things for others. I am not just a
ballplayer; I am a human being. As I said before, baseball is what I do; it is not who I
am. I played the game because of my love and respect for it, and I pride myself as an
example for kids, my own as well as others. I have always tried to help anyone who
crossed my path who was in need.
But here we are now, with me being accused of using steroids and cheating the
game of baseball. If I am guilty of anything, it is of being too trusting of others; wanting
to see the best in everyone; and being nice to everyone. If I am considered to be
ignorant because of that, then so be it.
I have chosen to live my life with a positive attitude. Yet I am accused of being a
criminal and I am not supposed to be angry about that?
If I keep my emotions in check, then I am accused of not caring.
When I kept quiet at the advice of my attorney until he could find out why in the
world I was being accused of these things, I was accused of having something to hide,
so I am guilty.
When I did speak out, I was accused of protesting too much, so I am guilty.
People who make false accusations should not be allowed to define another
person's life. I have freely and without question shared the talents God gave me with
children, young and old, and will continue to do so. I have been blessed with a will and
heart that carry me on in life. I have had thousands of calls and emails from friends,
working partners, teammates, fans, and men that have held the highest office in our
country telling me to stand strong. These words are very welcomed during some very
tough times for my family and me.
Do I think steroids are good for helping someone's performance? No. In fact, I
think they are detrimental. Should there be more extensive testing? Yes. I think
whatever is necessary for everyone involved to satisfy themselves that it is not going
on, should be done.
At the end of the day, I have been accused of doing something that I did not do.
I have been asked to prove that I did not do it. How in the world can I prove a negative?
No matter what we discuss here today, I am never going to have my name restored. I
know that a lot of people want me to say that I have taken steroids and be done with it.
But I cannot in good conscience admit to doing something that I did not do; even if it
would be easier to do so. That is not the type of person I am. Instead, I will try to set
the record straight, and I will do so directly to Congress and under oath. I have been
told that by doing this, I am subjecting myself to possible criminal prosecution. I know
that some people will still think I am lying no matter what I say or do. And I know that
because I've said that I didn't take steroids, it will look like an attack on Senator
Mitchell's report. I am not saying Senator Mitchell's report is entirely wrong and I am
not trying to convince those who have already made up their minds based only on an allegation. For those with an open mind, however, I am saying that Brian McNamee's
statements about me are wrong. Once again, I never took steroids or human growth