Roberts acknowledges steroid use
Veteran admits to one-time usage of banned substance
BALTIMORE -- Brian Roberts acknowledged the truth in the Mitchell Report on Monday night, when he told a reporter from the Baltimore Sun that he had used performance-enhancing drugs once in his career. The two-time All-Star said that he had worked to develop a good reputation on and off the field and hoped that his indiscretion wouldn't do anything to change that.
"In 2003, when I took one shot of steroids, I immediately realized that this was not what I stood for or anything that I wanted to continue doing," Roberts told the Sun. "I never used steroids, human growth hormone or any other performance-enhancing drugs prior to or since that single incident. I can honestly say before God, myself, my family and all of my fans that steroids or any performance-enhancing drugs have never had any effect on what I have worked so hard to accomplish in the game of baseball. I am very sorry and I deeply regret ever making that terrible decision.
"My only hope and prayer is that the Orioles, my family, friends and fans that have supported me so faithfully will forgive me."
Roberts had been silent on the matter since last Thursday, when the Mitchell Report had been released to the public. His inclusion in the report was due solely to testimony from ex-teammate Larry Bigbie, who told investigators that he never suspected Roberts for steroid use until the switch-hitter admitted to him in 2004 that he had tried them.
Bigbie also told authorities that he and Roberts lived with teammate David Segui during their rookie season and that Segui counseled him on steroid use and eventually helped inject him. Segui has since denied those allegations, but Bigbie made a point to tell investigators that Roberts never participated in steroid usage during the time they lived together.
Roberts also addressed his feelings toward Bigbie in the interview with the Sun, letting his old friend off the hook.
"Larry is one of my good friends," he said. "Obviously from the report, what I gathered was Larry was in a situation where he was asked a question and he had to tell the truth. Larry and I must have had a conversation about it at some point and he thought he remembered. I don't resent Larry, I'm not mad at Larry. It boils down to me, not Larry. I have no problems there."
Roberts was hardly alone in his inclusion in the Mitchell Report. Nineteen former Orioles were named, including three (Roberts, Jay Gibbons and Miguel Tejada) who played for Baltimore last season. According to the Los Angeles Times, all three of those players were also named in reliever Jason Grimsley's federal affadavit as fellow steroid users.
Roberts, who is extraordinarily active in the community as a fundraiser for a local hospital, said he hoped that his admission would be taken at face value. He's said in the past how important it is to him to be a role model to young children, and he told the Sun on Monday that he hoped his reputation wouldn't be damaged irreparably in the wake of the Mitchell Report.
"I think people are going to believe whatever they want to believe," he said. "One of the other reasons I made this statement is if I'm going to have people judging me or people are going to make accusations, then I wanted them to have the facts. Then they can treat me however they feel is necessary. I will never try and diminish what happened, ever. I know I made a wrong choice, but I basically wanted to make sure people knew the truth and they can make their own decisions from there."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.