Although no specifics were given, Ryan Braun admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs and violating the Joint Drug Agreement and will be suspended the rest of the 2013 season without pay. Officially, the punishment is a 65-game suspension.
This suspension is the first on a list that many believe will be a lengthy one as a result of the recent investigation into the South Florida anti-aging clinic Biogenesis. Another big name believed to be getting the hammer dropped on him this week is Alex Rodriguez.
Braun met with the MLB recently who laid out all of the evidence they had against him. Instead of doing the normal thing and appealing the findings, Braun and his attorney decided to cop a plea deal that netted him the 65-game suspension. With Braun set to make $9.61 million this season and will now have to forfeit $3.85 million as a result of his punishment. Braun admitted his guilt in a statement.
“As I have acknowledged in the past, I am not perfect,” said Braun 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 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. 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.”
It isn’t surprising that Ryan Braun was found guilty of using PEDs. Afterall, in 2011 he tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone but the results were thrown out when his attorney argued that the “chain of custody”, not the actual results, were compromised. He went on to win the NL MVP that year over a more deserving, and cleaner, Matt Kemp. It was as if everyone knew he was guilty and he got away with it anyway.
More than 80 players have been named on documents from Biogenesis and as many as 20 players may be facing suspension. The roster from the anti-aging clinic made its way to Bud Selig’s desk after an agreement was made between the MLB and the clinic founder Tony Bosch. Bosch, pictured to the right after talking with ESPN, looks exactly the way you would think he does…as and extra on The Sopranos. Seriously, did these players really think Bosch wouldn’t roll over on them?
If Bud Selig really wants drugs out of baseball then he needs to do two things.
1.) Bi-weekley testing of everyone. Yes, it will cost a boatload but it’s a good thing MLB makes a boatload every year.
2.) Lifetime ban for first time offenders. Quit slapping these players on the wrist. Braun is getting the next three months off without pay. Oh no, what’s he going to do? Probably play a shitload of golf and watch TV with his hand down his pants.
As you can guess, the MLB Players Association would be standing in the way of those new rules. It’s a total joke and until there are stiffer penalties for using PEDs, the good will continue to outweigh the bad.
For these players, the juice is worth the squeeze.