As a presidential candidate, Obama said that he opposed congressional investigations into steroid use by pro athletes — a hobby horse for his then-opponent Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump considering pardon for boxing legend after call from Sylvester Stallone GOP poised to advance rules change to speed up Trump nominees The Hill's Morning Report: Inside the Comey memos MORE (R-Ariz.).

"I gotta admit that seeing a lot of congressional hearings around steroid use is not probably the best use of congressional time," Obama told ESPN Radio at the time.

But when asked in 2009 about Rodriguez — who has previously admitted to using anabolic steroids — Obama called the news "depressing."

"If you’re a fan of Major League Baseball, I think it tarnishes an entire era to some degree," Obama said. "And it’s unfortunate, because I think there are a lot of ballplayers who played it straight."

The president again reiterated that he was "most concerned about … the message that it sends to our kids."

"What I’m pleased about is Major League Baseball seems to finally be taking this seriously, to recognize how big of a problem this is for the sport, and that our kids, hopefully, are watching and saying ‘You know what? There are no short cuts,’ " Obama said. "That when you try to take short cuts, you may end up tarnishing your entire career. And your integrity’s not worth it. That’s the message I hope is communicated.”