The first of the Major League Baseball players tied to the South Florida “anti-aging” clinic Bio-genesis has been suspended. Ryan Braun caught a hefty 65 game suspension for admitting to using PED’s (performance enhancing drugs).
“As I have acknowledged in the past, I am not perfect,” Braun said 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 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.
Although this is considered a first time offense, this isn’t actually the first time Ryan Braun has been accused of using PED’s. Following the 2011 season, Braun tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone as well, but successfully appealed the charge due to a technicality. His lawyers didn’t challenge the test results, rather the “chain of custody” of his test sample. They successfully beat the accusation, but this time they weren’t so lucky.
Ryan Braun is the first MLB player ever to receive more than a 50 game suspension for a first time offense. Some say he is being treated as a recidivist, and considering his history I don’t really believe that is wrong. He is a second time offender whether he was disciplined or not, so it’s my opinion that he is getting off pretty easily as far as the disciplinary action taken against him.
Is this a sign that things will be changing with Major League Baseball? It would be a good shift if these things were taken seriously by the organization, players and especially the union, which has historically enabled players to use drugs.
The writing was on the wall last week when (Michael) Weiner (the executive director of the players association) said any dirty player, confronted with overwhelming evidence, should cut a deal and not expect the usual, if not reflexive, iron-willed defense by the union. It was a history-rattling statement that reverberated in the Park Avenue offices of MLB.