MLB's Ryan Braun Apologizes: 'I have no one to blame but myself'
CNN/Stylemagazine.com Newswire | 8/23/2013, 8:37 a.m.
By Catherine E. Shoichet
A month after Major League Baseball suspended him for violating its drug policy, Ryan Braun says he's coming clean.
The 29-year-old Milwaukee Brewers outfielder apologized in a statement released Thursday, saying he used a "cream and a lozenge" banned by the league.
Braun did not specify which drug he used, but his suspension came after baseball's investigation into Biogenesis, the now-defunct Florida clinic accused of providing performance-enhancing drugs to baseball players.
"I have no one to blame but myself," Braun wrote. "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."
This isn't the first time the 2011 National League MVP and five-time All-Star has said he's sorry and admitted wrongdoing. But his statement Thursday gave new details about what he did -- and why he did it.
It all started when he was dealing with a "nagging injury" during the 2011 season, Braun said.
"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," he said. "It was a huge mistake for which I am deeply ashamed and I compounded the situation by not admitting my mistakes immediately."
An ESPN report in June named Braun as one of more than a dozen players facing suspension due to a scandal involving performance-enhancing drugs.
Last month, MLB Commission Bud Selig announced that Braun had been suspended without pay for the rest of the 2013 season. League and union officials praised him for taking responsibility for his actions.
At the time, Braun apologized in a statement, saying "I am not perfect."
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.
Braun said Thursday that feelings of anger and self-righteousness fueled his public comments after the arbitrator's decision in February 2012. At the time, he criticized the process, described himself as a victim, claimed that he was innocent and stressed that truth was on his side.
"I felt wronged and attacked, but looking back now, I was the one who was wrong," Braun said Thursday. "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."