Mark McGwire, the Los Angeles Dodgers hitting coach whose use of performance-enhancing drugs cast a shadow over his 16-year MLB career, spoke out Monday about the PEDs scandal in which 13 players were suspended this week.
"I wish I was never a part of it," McGwire told reporters.
"Just get rid of it. If it's better to have bigger suspensions, then they're going to have to change it… I wish there were [checks] in place earlier. They were put in in 2003 I think. I just really hope and pray that this is the end of it. Everybody, especially the players, don't want any more part of it, and I hope this is the end of it."
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McGwire broke the record for most home runs in a single season in 1998 but admitted in 2010 that he had been using PEDs at the time.
"It's very emotional, it's telling family members, friends and coaches, you know, it's former teammates to try to get ahold of, you know, that I'm coming clean and being honest," McGwire told MLB Network's Bob Costas at the time. "It's the first time they've ever heard me, you know, talk about this. I hid it from everybody."
On Monday, Major League Baseball slapped 13 players with suspensions for their connections to Biogenesis of America, a now-closed south Florida clinic that was peddling PEDs. Twelve players will serve 50-game suspensions, while the New York Yankees' Alex Rodriquez will serve a 211-game suspension.
When asked if the current players' suspensions were too harsh, McGwire had this to say:
"It doesn't matter what I think. I think it matters what the players think, and from what I hear every day in the clubhouse, they're just happy it's coming to an end," he said. "They're happy that Major League Baseball is taking care of it and we can move forward. Hopefully this will be the end of it."
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