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Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Updated: December 19, 8:52 AM ET
Roberts, named by Mitchell, says he tried steroids in 2003

ESPN.com news services

BALTIMORE -- Baltimore Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts has acknowledged using steroids, but insists he only tried it once before realizing he had made a "terrible decision."

Roberts
Roberts

Roberts was named in former Sen. George Mitchell's report on steroid use in Major League Baseball. The report came out last Thursday, but Roberts did not immediately respond.

In a statement issued Tuesday to The Associated Press, Roberts said he tried steroids four years ago.

"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. I never used steroids, human growth hormone or any other performance-enhancing drugs prior to or since that single incident," he said.

"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."

Roberts was in the Mitchell report because former teammate Larry Bigbie informed investigators that Roberts told him he used steroids "once or twice" in 2003.

"I am very sorry and I deeply regret ever making that terrible decision," Roberts said in the statement. "My only hope and prayer is that the Orioles, my family, friends and fans that have supported me so faithfully will forgive me."

The Baltimore Sun reported in its Wednesday edition that Roberts personally apologized to the Orioles owner Peter Angelos on Monday.

Angelos said he accepted Roberts' apology, according to the Sun.

"We commend Brian for acknowledging a serious and uncharacteristic past error in judgment," Angelos said, according to the Sun. "As an Oriole, Brian has not only been a favorite of fans, who have followed his on-field accomplishments, but he has established a remarkable record of service and devotion to the community -- one rarely matched by professional athletes.

"His untiring efforts with desperately ill children at [The Johns Hopkins Hospital] and other institutions reflect a commitment and compassion of a sensitive and caring young man who deeply feels the anguish of others. How sad then, and indeed how cruel, that in his time of anguish and remorse, there are no words of comfort or even some hint of forgiveness for a foolish mistake that he made a long time ago."

Roberts has twice been named to the American League All-Star team, including this season. He has a career batting average of .281. Returning from offseason elbow surgery, in 2007 he batted .290 and stole a career-high 50 bases.

He has never failed a drug test and previously had denied vigorously ever using performance-enhancing drugs.

"I have worked very hard to develop a good reputation both on and off the field," he said in the statement. "I have always taken pride in being a man of integrity and values. I know that by being a professional athlete, I am held to a very high standard. I never have and never will take that for granted. However, I am also human and I have made mistakes."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.