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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Brewers’ Braun Suspended Over Doping

NEW YORK (AFP) – Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun has been suspended for the remainder of the season for violating Major League Baseball’s drug policy.

Commissioner Bud Selig announced the suspension Monday and said it was effective immediately, which means Braun will miss the final 65 games of the Brewers’ season.

“As I have acknowledged in the past I am not perfect,” said Braun, 29, who was the most valuable player of the National League in 2011.

“I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions. I wish to apologize to anyone I may have disappointed – all of baseball fans and especially those in Milwaukee.”

Braun is the first player to be suspended in the wake of an investigation into Biogenesis, a Florida clinic suspected of supplying performance enhancing drugs to top baseball players.

Braun will begin serving his suspension with the Brewers’ Monday night game against San Diego. He will also miss any potential post-season games.

Braun was previously slapped with a 50-game suspension in late 2011 but he was able to get it overturned in February 2012.

He tested positive for elevated testosterone levels, but won the appeal on a technicality when he challenged how the test samples were stored.

The exact nature of Braun’s offence was not specified. But it comes after he and other players — including New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez — were linked to the Biogenesis of America clinic run by Anthony Bosch.

Major League baseball is suing the now-closed clinic on the grounds it had sought to provide banned drugs to professional baseball players.

Selig announced the suspension in a news release but did not go into specifics about what that five-time all-star Braun was suspended for.

Selig only said the ban is for “violations of the Basic Agreement and its Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.”

“We commend Ryan Braun for taking responsibility for his past actions,” said Rob Manfred, executive vice president for Major League Baseball.

“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.”

When he won the MVP award, Braun hit .332 with 33 homers and 111 RBI.

In 2012, he hit .319 with 41 homers and 112 RBI and he was hitting .298 with nine home runs and 38 RBI in 61 games this season.

Like Selig, executive director of MLB Players Association Michael Weiner also refused on Monday to go into specifics about Braun’s suspension.

“I am deeply gratified to see Ryan taking this bold step,” Weiner said. “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 media reported earlier this month that as many as 20 players could be banned for alleged involvement with the Florida anti-aging clinic.