Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun agreed to a suspension for the remainder of the 2013 season and the postseason for his involvement with the Biogenesis clinic, apologizing on Monday for "mistakes" but never tacitly confirming his use of performance-enhancing drugs.
Braun's 65-game suspension, negotiated with Major League Baseball, is the first of many expected in the fallout of the league's investigation into Biogenesis. MLB sought a 50-game suspension for Braun in the offseason before the 2012 season after he tested positive for synthetic testosterone, but Braun won his appeal and avoided discipline. Braun won NL MVP honors during that tumultuous offseason.
New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, whose involvement with Biogenesis has spurred him to attempt to negotiate a deal as well, could be suspended for longer than Braun, according to a source with knowledge of the talks.
In a statement, Braun never said he used PEDs, though by accepting one of the longest suspensions in major league history, he did all but admit to skirting the league’s rules. Braun’s suspension will be without pay and cost him more than $3 million in salary.
"As I have acknowledged in the past, I am not perfect,” Braun said. “I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions. This situation has taken a toll on me and my entire family, and it has been a distraction to my teammates and the Brewers organization. I am very grateful for the support I have received from players, ownership and the fans in Milwaukee and around the country. Finally, I wish to apologize to anyone I may have disappointed – all of the baseball fans especially those in Milwaukee, the great Brewers organization, and my teammates. I am glad to have this matter behind me once and for all, and I cannot wait to get back to the game I love."
MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner commended Braun for accepting the suspension. "I am deeply gratified to see Ryan taking this bold step," Weiner said in a statement. "It vindicates the rights of all players under the Joint Drug Program. It is good for the game that Ryan will return soon to continue his great work both on and off the field."
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