First, I would like to say that contrary to media reports, I have never used steroids. I have no idea why the media would say that I have used steroids, but they have done so repeatedly. This is hurtful to me and my family.
In 2002 I was injured. I had heard that human growth hormone could promote faster healing for my elbow. I felt an obligation to get back to my team as soon as possible. For this reason, and only this reason, for two days I tried human growth hormone. Though it was not against baseball rules, I was not comfortable with what I was doing, so I stopped. This is it – two days out of my life; two days out of my entire career, when I was injured and on the disabled list.
If what I did was an error in judgment on my part, I apologize. I accept responsibility for those two days. Everything else written or said about me knowingly using illegal drugs is nonsense, wrong and hurtful. I have the utmost respect for baseball and have always tried to live my life in a way that would be honorable. I wasn’t looking for an edge; I was looking to heal.
If I have let down people that care about me, I am sorry, but I hope that you will listen to me carefully and understand that two days of perhaps bad judgment should not ruin a lifetime of hard work and dedication. I have tried to do things the right way my entire life, and, again, ask that you put those two days in the proper context. People that know me will know that what I say is true.
Note: We regret the comments made in the text previously in this space, based on incomplete quotations of the above statement by Pettitte. A record of that text is below.
“If what I did was an error in judgment on my part, I apologize,” Pettitte said Saturday in a statement released by his agent. “I accept responsibility for those two days.”
Who is advising this guy, Dick Cheney? This is an admission, not an apology. You cannot qualify an apology like Pettitte does (“IF what I did”??!!) and expect it to be taken seriously by anyone but those without any reading comprehension skills. This is a snow job, an attempt to make good with a public, nothing else.
[Edit: I put this post up using read Pettitte’s statement at SI and Newsday, amongst others. What I cited was what was represented by these two outlets as Pettitte’s entire statement. Since then, a full version has been printed that fleshes out Pettitte’s explanation and this post is therefore wrongly stated.]
[Edit 2: It was recommended that I take this post down. I am not going to do that — though it is somewhat overstated I will not erase it from the records of the site, I don’t think that’s a wise policy even if it strikes something that doesn’t reflect well on me. For the record, and as I have stated in the comments, my original post had absolutely nothing to do with the Yankees and everything to do with the limited and qualified statement as originally presented as the entirety of Pettitte’s words. Because the sources that I checked (SI, Newsday, and an AP wire story, full disclosure) had truncated the statement and not disclosed this fact I posted under mistaken assumptions. I do not know why these news sources did this. Had I read the entire statement I would not have put this post up in these terms, it might have been much more measured. I take full unqualified responsibility for my post, though, and I apologize for my mistaken assumptions.]