Following a month of speculation after acknowledging that he committed "mistakes", Ryan Braun finally admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs during his landmark 2011 season, during which he was named National League MVP.
Ryan Braun was originally suspended for 50 games after testing positive for a banned substance in October.
In a statement released on Thursday, the suspended Milwaukee Brewers slugger apologised for lying about his drug use. He confessed to using a cream and a lozenge to help deal with an injury, products which contained elevated testosterone. He tested positive for the banned substance in October 2011 and meted a 50-game suspension, but the sanctions were overturned when an arbitrator ruled that Braun's urine sample was tampered with.
Braun apologised to the Brewers organisation, MLB commissioner Bud Selig, and the collector of his urine sample.
"I have no one to blame but myself. I know that over the last year and a half I made some serious mistakes, both in the information I failed to share during my arbitration hearing and the comments I made to the press afterwards," Braun said in his statement. "I have privately expressed my apologies to Commissioner Selig and Rob Manfred of MLB and to Michael Weiner and his staff at the Players' Association. I'm very grateful for the support I've received from them. I sincerely apologize to everybody involved in the arbitration process, including the collector, Dino Laurenzi, Jr. I feel terrible that I put my teammates in a position where they were asked some very difficult and uncomfortable questions. One of my primary goals is to make amends with them."
"I support baseball's Joint Drug Treatment and Prevention Program and the importance of cleaning up the game. What I did goes against everything I have always valued -- achieving through hard work and dedication, and being honest both on and off the field. I also understand that I will now have to work very, very hard to begin to earn back people's trust and support. I am dedicated to making amends and to earning back the trust of my teammates, the fans, the entire Brewers' organization, my sponsors, advisors and from MLB. I am hopeful that I can earn back the trust from those who I have disappointed and those who are willing to give me the opportunity. I am deeply sorry for my actions, and I apologize to everyone who has been adversely affected by them."
Columnist Jon Heyman of CBS applauded Braun for his admission, but said the 2011 NL MVP must do more to make amends.
"Braun's statement was great. But if he really wants to make a statement, he gives the trophy to his Los Angeles friend [Matt] Kemp, who finished second and deserved it," Heyman wrote. "And even better, he needs to help specimen collector Dino Laurenzi Jr, with more than just a phone call. Braun reveals in his statement that he reached out to Laurenzi. Hopefully, Braun was as genuine as he could be with Laurenzi. He can't bring up some quibble about the way he did his collecting, because the collecting wasn't the problem."
Thursday's admission came on the heels of Braun's 65-game suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal, which came in July. Braun has committed to supporting the MLB's anti-drug program moving forward.
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