JNS.org — Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun–the former Most Valuable Player of Major League Baseball’s National League, who in July was suspended for the rest of the 2013 season over drug violations–on Thursday for the first time admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). Braun’s father is an Israeli-born Jew, and his mother is Catholic.
Last year, Braun got a 50-game suspension for high levels of testosterone overturned after successfully disputing the drug-testing process. The latest suspension, which he did not appeal, encompasses 65 games and any possible postseason play. He acknowledged in July that he had “made some mistakes,” but did not explicitly admit to using PEDs.
That admission came in a statement he released on Thursday.
“During the latter part of the 2011 season, I was dealing with a nagging injury and I turned to products for a short period of time that I shouldn’t have used,” Braun said. “The products were a cream and a lozenge which I was told could help expedite my rehabilitation. It was a huge mistake for which I am deeply ashamed and I compounded the situation by not admitting my mistakes immediately.”
Braun had adamantly denied using PEDs at a press conference in February 2012, following an arbitrator’s decision to overturn his 50-game suspension that year. On Thursday he said he “deeply” regrets what he said at that press conference.
“At that time, I still didn’t want to believe that I had used a banned substance,” Braun said. “I think a combination of feeling self righteous and having a lot of unjustified anger led me to react the way I did. I felt wronged and attacked, but looking back now, I was the one who was wrong. 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.”
Braun is a .312 career hitter, with 211 homeruns in seven seasons. In 2011, when he won the Most Valuable Player award, he batted .332 with 33 homeruns, 111 RBI, and 33 stolen bases.