Milwaukee outfielder Ryan Braun suspended for 2013 season for drug violation
CNN — Major League Baseball player Ryan Braun has been suspended without pay for the rest of the 2013 season for violating the league's drug policy, Commissioner Bud Selig announced Monday.
The Brewers have 65 games remaining this season, so Braun's punishment amounts to a 65-game suspension.
Braun, 29, an outfielder for the Milwaukee Brewers, admitted to wrongdoing and apologized for his actions in a statement, saying "I am not perfect."
An ESPN report last month named Braun as one of 20 players facing suspension due to a scandal involving performance-enhancing drugs.
Michael Weiner, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, said he was pleased by Braun's admission.
"I am deeply gratified to see Ryan taking this bold step," Weiner said in a statement. "It vindicates the rights of all players under the Joint Drug Program. It is good for the game that Ryan will return soon to continue his great work both on and off the field."
The 2011 National League MVP and five-time All-Star had faced a 50-game suspension last year. A drug test showed high levels of testosterone in his body, but Braun successfully disputed the testing process, and the suspension was overturned in February.
Major league players can appeal any possible suspensions, as Braun did in 2012.
"As I have acknowledged in the past, I am not perfect," Braun said in his 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 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."
Rob Manfred, MLB's executive vice president for economics and league affairs, also commended Braun for taking responsibility for his actions.
"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," Manfred said in a statement.
Braun was the 2007 National League Rookie of the Year and by the 2011 season, he was considered the cornerstone of the Brewers franchise.
He signed a five-year, $105 million contract extension and went on to help lead the Brewers to the playoffs for the only the fourth time in team history. His performance earned him that year's National League MVP award.
Shortly after his amazing season, however, a urine sample taken during the playoffs tested positive for an elevated level of testosterone. Faced with a 50-game suspension, Braun appealed the decision, and an arbitrator overturned the suspension on what some, including the chief executive of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, said was a technicality.