MILWAUKEE — When Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun agreed to accept a season-ending suspension Monday for violating the Major League Baseball drug program, in essence he admitted to both using performance-enhancing drugs and lying about it.
In a sanction mandated by commissioner Bud Selig, Braun agreed to sit out the remaining 65 games of the 2013 season without pay as punishment for evidence uncovered against him in the investigation of the scandal-plagued Biogenesis clinic in Florida.
MLB did not announce what violations Braun committed but a baseball source said the evidence was “so overwhelming” that the 2011 National League Most Valuable Player had no choice but to accept the 65-game penalty or face a much longer suspension. ESPN reported the evidence showed Braun used “a sophisticated doping regimen” for an extended period of time.
Braun, 29, who maintained many times since overturning a positive drug test from October 2011 that he never used PEDs, admitted his guilt through a statement released by MLB.
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“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 is 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.”
Said Mariners outfielder Jason Bay: “In a way, it’s good that this is happening. But today, right now, it’s hard to see any good in it.’’
Bay said what really makes him “mad’’ was all the denials Braun gave last year in vehemently defending himself against allegations of PED use.
Braun, injured Yankees star Alex Rodriguez and more than a dozen players were targeted by MLB following a report by Miami New Times in January that they had been connected with Biogenesis of America, a now-closed anti-aging clinic.
Another player reportedly tied to Biogenesis is Seattle catcher Jesus Montero.