Former University of Miami Hurricane Ryan Braun, who won the National League MVP award in 2011 and defended himself vehemently when accused of using performance enhancing drugs, was suspended without pay for the remainder of the season by Major League Baseball Monday after shifting course and acknowledging he broke baseball's rules regarding its joint drug prevention and treatment program.
“As I have acknowledged in the past, I am not perfect," Braun said in a statement released by MLB. "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.”
Braun, 29, is the first player linked to Biogenesis -- Tony Bosch's Coral Gables-based anti-aging clinic that allegedly supplied PEDs to roughly 20 baseball players -- to be suspended by baseball.
Last week at the All-Star Game in New York, union executive director Michael Weiner said he expected MLB — which has built its case on phone records, receipts and other information provided by Bosch - to present its findings to the players association “within the next month” and for disciplinary action and appeals to likely remain unresolved until the winter.
But Braun, who successfully appealed a 50-game suspension from baseball last season after a positive test for testosterone, apparently sped the process up after he met with MLB investigators recently and decided to admit he broke rules. He will miss the Brewers final 65 games this season. Milwaukee just swept the Marlins over the weekend.
“We commend Ryan Braun for taking responsibility for his past actions,” said Rob Manfred, Executive Vice President, Economics and League Affairs for Major League Baseball. “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."
UM baseball coach Jim Morris, reached by phone after learning of the news, declined comment.