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Ryan Braun releases statement admitting to use of banned substances

Aug 22, 2013, 7:49 PM EDT

Ryan Braun AP

Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, who accepted a suspension for the rest of the season late last month following MLB’s investigation into Biogenesis, has released a statement this evening admitting to use of performance-enhancing drugs while apologizing for his actions.

In the lengthy statement, Braun explains that he was dealing with a nagging injury during his MVP season in 2011 when he began taking a cream and a lozenge to help speed up his recovery time. Of course, he later tested positive for synthetic testosterone, though the suspension was overturned in February of 2012 because it was ruled that his urine sample was mishandled. Braun addresses how he handled his defense in the statement and apologizes to the collector, Dino Laurenzi, Jr., for discrediting him.

Read the statement in full below:

Now that the initial MLB investigation is over, I want to apologize for my actions and provide a more specific account of what I did and why I deserved to be suspended. 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.

I have disappointed the people closest to me – the ones who fought for me because they truly believed me all along. I kept the truth from everyone. For a long time, I was in denial and convinced myself that I had not done anything wrong.

It is important that people understand that I did not share details of what happened with anyone until recently. My family, my teammates, the Brewers organization, my friends, agents, and advisors had no knowledge of these facts, and no one should be blamed but me. Those who put their necks out for me have been embarrassed by my behavior. I don’t have the words to express how sorry I am for that.

Here is what happened. During the latter part of the 2011 season, I was dealing with a nagging injury and I turned to products for a short period of time that I shouldn’t have used. The products were a cream and a lozenge which I was told could help expedite my rehabilitation. It was a huge mistake for which I am deeply ashamed and I compounded the situation by not admitting my mistakes immediately.

I deeply regret many of the things I said at the press conference after the arbitrator’s decision in February 2012. At that time, I still didn’t want to believe that I had used a banned substance. I think a combination of feeling self righteous and having a lot of unjustified anger led me to react the way I did. I felt wronged and attacked, but looking back now, I was the one who was wrong. I am beyond embarrassed that I said what I thought I needed to say to defend my clouded vision of reality. I am just starting the process of trying to understand why I responded the way I did, which I continue to regret. There is no excuse for any of this.

For too long during this process, I convinced myself that I had not done anything wrong. After my interview with MLB in late June of this year, I came to the realization that it was time to come to grips with the truth. I was never presented with baseball’s evidence against me, but I didn’t need to be, because I knew what I had done. I realized the magnitude of my poor decisions and finally focused on dealing with the realities of-and the punishment for-my actions.

I requested a second meeting with Baseball to acknowledge my violation of the drug policy and to engage in discussions about appropriate punishment for my actions. By coming forward when I did and waiving my right to appeal any sanctions that were going to be imposed, I knew I was making the correct decision and taking the first step in the right direction. It was important to me to begin my suspension immediately to minimize the burden on everyone I had so negatively affected- my teammates, the entire Brewers organization, the fans and all of MLB. There has been plenty of rumor and speculation about my situation, and I am aware that my admission may result in additional attacks and accusations from others.

I love the great game of baseball and I am very sorry for any damage done to the game. 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 understand it’s a blessing and a tremendous honor to play this game at the Major League level. I also understand the intensity of the disappointment from teammates, fans, and other players. When it comes to both my actions and my words, I made some very serious mistakes and I can only ask for the forgiveness of everyone I let down. I will never make the same errors again and I intend to share the lessons I learned with others so they don’t repeat my mistakes. Moving forward, I want to be part of the solution and no longer part of the problem.

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.

We’re getting more information here than we did when word of the suspension originally came out, but this statement is unlikely to change the perception of him. And while a public statement probably would have been more satisfying, it seems that most have already made up their minds about him and his conduct. Perhaps he realizes that. His work to regain the trust of his teammates is more important than winning the P.R. game, though admittedly he has a lot of work to do on that end.

106 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. chiadam - Aug 23, 2013 at 8:27 AM

    1. Gobble PEDs as often as possibe
    2. become mutant baseball player; sign mega contract
    3. get caught gobbling PEDs; lie ass off for as long as possible
    4. have lawyer apologize through statement; always blame PED gobbling on injury

  2. chicago240 - Aug 23, 2013 at 8:46 AM

    Alternative Press Release:

    Early in my career, I discovered like a lot of buddies, that if I took PED’s I’m stronger and faster and I could get a bigger contract if I tried to get away with taking banned substances. So, I did. And I got better, really good in fact, won awards, got a monster contract, and while I may have trampled on a few folks along the way, I’m sitting pretty good for the rest of my life and because of the players union and my contract, I never have to worry again. Would I do it again? Absolutely. A man’s gotta eat. A man’s gotta feed his family. So I’m sorry I did it….but honestly, you’d have to be crazy not to do it with the downside being as minimal as it is?? It’s not like I have to give back any of the money. And any fan that boos me in the future will just have to live with the enormous house I go home to every night.

  3. thebigtebowski - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    Even when I tell the truth I lie. What a loser. Dude you have juiced for years. I took some lozenges? What did you have an itchy throat? Am I supposed to believe it went down like this:

    Braun: Golly gee willikers I’ve worked and trained so hard all these years and now I’m injured. I just want to play the game I love. Shucks!
    A-Rod: I know what it’s like to lose something you love too Ryan…here…suck on this lozenge. Suck it good. Rub this cream where it hurts. You’ll be better in no time.
    Ryan: bbbbbut I’m so honest Alex. I love honesty. I just can’t…
    A-Rod: Don’t worry Ryan. It’s not wrong. Everybody’s doing it.
    Ryan: Ok….
    A-Rod: Mwah ha ha ha!

    Braun you’ve probably taken steroids your whole career. Your numbers suggest so. Can’t believe dudes are still pulling the old “I did it to rehab an injury for the game I love and to help the team and the fans” shtick in 2013. F**king lozenges….

  4. harbourimages - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    He’s a liar who got caught and only THEN felt badly about what he’d done. His “apology” has no credibility, and neither does anything he says or ever will say. Fug both him and A-Roid!!! They are disgraces to baseball….

  5. muskyhunter2542 - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:35 AM

    WOW, some serous haters on HBT.

  6. muskyhunter2542 - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    Ryan Braun needs to be stoned to death by Al-Qaeda!!!

  7. robbyrob2 - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    THAT’S IT? After what he did to Dino Laurenzi, Jr, that is all he had to say to him….”sorry bout that”???

    This guy is a gutless clown

  8. granadafan - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    I have even less respect for Lyin’ Ryan after his lawyer wrote this half assed “apology”. You can’t “apologize” and then lie some more about your “nagging injuries” and wild claims about taking creams.

    Oh, and has Braun actually reached out to Dino Laurenzi, Jr to SINCERELY apologize for his character assasination and false accusations of anti-semitism (even though Braun is technically not Jewish)?

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