Major League Baseball has suspended Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers for 65 games without pay due to his involvement in the Biogenesis performance-enhancing drugs scandal.
“As I have acknowledged in the past, I am not perfect. I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions,” Braun said in a statement released by MLB.
“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.”
Said MLB Players Association director Michael Weiner: “I am deeply gratified to see Ryan taking this bold step. 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.”
Braun, 29, won 2011 Natonal Lague MVP when he hit .332 with with 33 home runs. After the season, he was suspended for a failed drug test, reportedly for excessive testosterone, and appealed. Braun alleged improper handling of his urine sample and had his suspension overturned by a neutral arbiter.
The next shoe to drop is likely on Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who could get an even longer suspension for interfering with the investigation into the Miami clinic that allegedly supplied the drugs too Braun and other players.
Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon, and others could also go down shortly. Last week, MLB and the Players Association indicated that only players who accept their punishment would be announced. If appeals are made, they could drag on for months.