Alex Rodriguez is mentoring Ryan Lochte for his new CNBC show, Back in the Game, and in a preview clip, the athletes bond over their respective sports scandals. Rodriguez was suspended for the entire 2014 MLB season for violating the performance-enhancing drugs policy, while Lochte lied about being held at gunpoint during the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
"One mistake changed my entire life," the six-time gold medalist says.
At the 2016 Olympics, Lochte, 35, claimed he and three others from the U.S. swim team were robbed at gunpoint at a gas station when they were returning to the Olympic Village late at night. Police held a news conference claiming the swimmers had vandalized the restroom at the Shell station. Lochte apologized and was later cleared of all charges surrounding the international incident.
"I went from hero to zero," Lochte tells Rodriguez. "I’m just trying to fight my way back to the top again."
"I know exactly what you feel like. I can relate because I had my same issues," Rodriguez, 44, replies. The 14-time All-Star admitted to using steroids years ago, a decision he said cost him $40 million and possibly a spot in the Hall of Fame.
"It was crushing for me to disappoint my daughters and my mother because I felt like I let an entire nation down," Rodriguez continues.
“When you say that, it hits me because I feel like I did let down a lot of people," an emotional Lochte replies. "I am a role model and I want to be the best role model for people."
"I remember laying in bed and literally crying and just saying like, 'I have no idea how I did this to myself,'" Rodriguez recalls. "I made my bed and now I have to lay in it. I just didn’t know how to engage, how to apologize."
"I know you did it on a macro level, but did you apologize to people that loved you and backed you?" he asks Lochte. "Those fans out there that ultimately are the shareholders of our careers."
The four-episode series follows Rodriguez as he mentors Lochte, former boxer Evander Holyfield, Charles in Charge actress Nicole Eggert and former American Idol co-host Brian Dunkleman. The former Yankees star advises them on how to reduce their debt, repair their reputations and launch new business ventures. Five years after Rodriguez's scandal, he has certainly turned his image around. The slugger now works as an MLB studio analyst for Fox Sports, is an ESPN analyst for Sunday Night Baseball and landed one mega-successful fiancée, Jennifer Lopez.
Back in the Game will air Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET on CNBC.
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