Ryan Braun, the National League's 2011 Most Valuable Player, has been suspended without pay for the rest of the season for "violations of [the] Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program," Major League Baseball said on Twitter today.
As we reported back in 2012, Braun became the first major league player to successfully appeal a drug suspension. He was able to prove inconsistencies with the handling of a urine test that showed high levels of testosterone and Major League Baseball dropped its suspension.
The Milwaukee Brewers' left fielder issued a statement through the league saying he realized he had "made some mistakes."
"I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions," he said in the statement. "I wish to apologize to ... all of the baseball fans especially those in Milwaukee, the great Brewers organization, and my teammates."
Rob Manfred, executive vice president, economics and league affairs for the League, said they commend Braun for "taking responsibility for his past actions."
"We all agree that it is in the best interests of the game to resolve this matter," Manfred said. "When Ryan returns, we look forward to him making positive contributions to Major League Baseball, both on and off the field."
Update at 6:07 p.m. ET. Biogenesis Connection:
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports this suspension has a Biogenesis connection. If you remember, Biogenesis is a Miami-area clinic that allegedly sold performance enhancing drugs to many Major League players.
As we reported back in June, ESPN's Outside the Lines said Major League Baseball was preparing to suspend more than 20 players, including Braun and Alex Rodriguez.
The Sentinel adds:
"The sanction came as a result of MLB's investigation into the infamous Biogenesis clinic, which was exposed as having sold PEDs to players after documents were released to various news agencies earlier this year.
"The suspension also exposed Braun as a liar because he has stated many times that he never used PEDs and never wavered from that stance. He recently told reporters, 'The truth hasn't changed,' referring to ongoing speculation that he would be suspended for PED use."
Update at 5:57 p.m. ET. Braun's Full Statement:
Here is Braun's full statement:
"As I have acknowledged in the past, I am not perfect. 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 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."