Ryan Braun, an outfielder for Major League Baseball's Milwaukee Brewers, was suspended without pay for the rest of the season Monday. He will miss 65 games, costing him $3 million of his $8.5 million dollar salary, but he remains under contract until 2020. USA Today reported Braun's official statement:
As I have acknowledged in the past, I am not perfect. ...This situation has taken a toll on me and my entire family, and it is 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.
In 2011, MLB failed to suspend Braun after he tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone, on account of the procedural mismanagement of his urine sample.
This time is different, however, as the league has linked more than 80 players to Biogenesis, an anti-aging clinic in Miami that has since been shut down for distributing performance enhancing drugs. Biogenesis allegedly has supplied steroids to some of the biggest names in baseball, including San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera, the Oakland Athletics' Bartolo Colon, the Texas Rangers' Nelson Cruz and, most famously, New York Yankees third-baseman Alex Rodriguez.
However, as CBS' Gregg Doyel pointed out, incentives still push players in the direction of cheating:
Years ago, as a minor leaguer in 2006, [Braun] didn't know he was good enough to star in the big leagues. Until you do it, you don't know. How can you know? And with so many others in baseball cheating, Braun stacked the deck in his favor to cheat also. If he was going to fail upon reaching the big leagues, he was going to fail on equal terms with the cheaters.
But he didn't fail. He succeeded, spectacularly. So he kept cheating. And I understand it. If sportswriting had a steroid, and my salary depended on my being competitive with other sportswriters, and I felt -- I knew -- other sportswriters were taking that steroid? I'd be thinking really hard about taking it too. Look, I have a family to feed. They can't eat a sandwich of bread, mayo and my moral outrage.
Steroid abuse in MLB has been common for decades. Some of the league's most famous players have been implicated in steroid use, including home run kings Marc McGwire and Barry Bonds
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