Alex Rodriguez has been doing well since retiring from the MLB in 2016. But it was a struggle to get here. The ex-Yankee explained to the New York Times that it took a lot of self-reflection as well as some professional aid to help him move past his infamous doping scandal.
"I cannot speak about anybody else. If you’re asking about me, I think it started with taking full responsibility for my missteps," A-Rod stated. "I paid a huge price: the longest suspension in the history of MLB for PED use. And while I was away, I took that year to reflect. I wanted to understand why I kept shooting myself in the foot."
After admitting to using steroids on several occasions, A-Rod transformed from New York's golden child to an MLB villain. Although he was able to play while appealing the sentence, Rodriguez was ultimately given the longest non-lifetime suspension in the league's history. This 162-game ban kept him off the field for the entire 2014 season. While taking this "year to reflect," A-Rod explained that he got a chance to unpack the pressures that led him to use PEDs as well as find solace in seeing a therapist.
"Well, when the suspension first happened, I was pissed off at everyone. I was blaming everyone. It wasn’t until I got deeper into it that I said: 'No, it’s not their fault. It’s your fault,'" A-Rod explained before discussing mental health.
"What’s more common in baseball is performance coaches. That’s totally different than deep therapy, which is serious business. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. In many ways, it’s rewiring the brain."
His post-retirement accomplishments include becoming a well-regarded MLB commentator, giving financial advice on CNBC's Back in the Game, and of course, getting engaged to Jennifer Lopez.