The following is Mike Morse’s statement, as given out in Oakland Wednesday morning:


“First and foremost, I want to apologize to the fans, my teammates, the Mariners’ organization, baseball and to my family. Back in November 2003 when I was 21 years old, I made an enormous mistake in my life: I took steroids while in the Minor Leagues. My thigh muscle, which I had previously torn, had never healed and I was scared that my career was over. I was desperate and made a terrible mistake which I deeply regret.


“In May 2004, I was punished and suspended, which I deserved, for my mistake. I embarrassed myself, my family and my team. I am responsible for the mistake of taking steroids and the positive result was not due to some over-the-counter supplement, protein shake or tainted test.


“I promised myself never to make the same mistake again. The Arbitration Panel found that the evidence supports that I have not used steroids since the 2003 off-season.


“After serving my suspension in May 2004, I was allowed to resume my Minor League career even though steroids remained in my system from the 2003 off-season. There was nothing I could do to completely removed the steroids from my body. In July 2004, I was again drug tested while in the Minor Leagues and the result was that the steroids in my system were in a declining quantity. However, I was again suspended under the Minor League Drug Policy for a second time even though I had not used steroids since the 2003 off-season.


“I am troubled that I will be suspended for the third time despite the fact that the scientific evidence supports that I kept my promise that I would never use steroids again.


“Even the Panel states in the written decision that ‘the Panel recognizes that this result may be viewed as unfair to Michael Morse…’


“I find it unfair that I am being punished three different times for making the mistake of taking steroids once in 2003. At least there is some solace in the fact that the scientific evidence supports that I kept my promise that I would never use steroids again.


“I am truly sorry that this statement was ever even necessary.”