Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun has been suspended for the rest of the 2013 season after admitting to using performance-enhancing drugs and violating the Joint Drug Agreement, Major League Baseball announced.
“As I have acknowledged in the past, I am not perfect,” Braun said in a statement. “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.”
Braun claimed he was innocent for a year and a half before coming clean on Monday. The 29-year-old former MVP had been a focal point in the MLB’s recent investigation into the South Florida anti-aging clinic Biogenesis scandal. The company is suspected of supplying performance-enhancing drugs to at least 20 MLB players and could be the largest doping program in sports history. MLB’s statement, however, made no mention of the Biogenesis scandal.
“We commend Ryan Braun for taking responsibility for his past actions,” MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred said. “We all agree that it is in the best interests of the game to resolve this matter. When Ryan returns, we look forward to him making positive contributions to Major League Baseball, both on and off the field.”
Braun tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone following the 2011 baseball season, but successfully appealed a suspension. MLB investigators recently met with the athlete and laid out its evidence against him. He agreed to a plea deal and negotiated the suspension. Under the JDA, first time offenders get 50-game suspensions, second-timers get 100 games and third-timers get lifetime bans.