BALTIMORE (AP) _ Baltimore Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts acknowledged using steroids, but insisted he tried it only once before realizing he had made a ``terrible decision.''
Roberts was named in former U.S. senator George Mitchell's report on doping in Major League Baseball. The report came out last Thursday, but Roberts did not immediately respond.
In a statement issued on 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.''
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.''