Ryan Braun, a former National League MVP, admitted late Monday to using PED and accepted a suspension for the remainder of the 2013 season. Braun issued a carefully crafted statement where he admitted to “making mistakes” and he would “accept the consequences of those actions.”
This is a stark departure from Braun’s consistent denials of PED use ever since first testing positive for elevated levels of testosterone following his MVP campaign in 2011. He won an appeal in February 2012 over questions in the method his sample data was collected, directly questioning the integrity of urine sample collector Dino Laurenzi.
After winning the appeal Braun held a news conference in February 2012, which now in light of Monday’s suspension might be better viewed with a laugh track. Here are a couple of choice statements from Braun that day when he was angry about his name had been “dragged through the mud.”
- “I truly believe in my heart and I would bet my life that this substance never entered my body at any point.”
- “The truth is always relevant and at the end of the day, the truth prevailed.”
- “I’m a victim of a process that completely broke down and failed.”
- “You’re part of a process where you’re 100 percent guilty until proven innocent.”
Hindsight is 20/20, but his abrupt change from his defiant tone in 2012 goes a long way in showing what sort of potential evidence MLB must have compiled against him in the Biogenesis scandal. It likely didn’t help that MLBPA chief Michael Weiner issued a statement of his own that he was “deeply gratified” about the steps Braun took on Monday.
From a baseball standpoint, it’s a smart move for Braun to take his medicine now and miss the rest of the 2013 season. The Brewers are 41-56 and not going anywhere. Braun also signed a five-year, $105 million extension with Milwaukee in April, 2011 that will keep him in Wisconsin until at least 2020, so it’s not like his now sullied reputation will cost him at the negotiating table in the immediate future.
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