Major League Baseball has suspended Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun for the rest of this year, because of his involvement with a performance enhancing drug clinic. And Alex Rodriguez may be next.
Braun will miss 65 games and forfeit about $3.25 million in salary for violations of the league's anti-doping code. He will not appeal the suspension and released a statement saying, "I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions."
The slugger first became ensnared in PED controversy when he failed a drug test following the 2011 season; the same year he won the National League MVP with 33 home runs and 111 RBI. He avoided a mandatory 50-game suspension after successfully arguing that the sample (which had elevated levels of testosterone) was improperly handled and came back the next year to hit 41 home runs.
However, during this last offseason Braun and other athletes — including Alex Rodriguez and several other pro baseball players — were connected to a shady "anti-aging" clinic known as Biogenesis. An investigation by Miami New-Times found that the owner of the clinic was selling human growth hormone, steroids, and other drugs to the athletes and kept detailed records about it. The owner of that clinic has been cooperating with the MLB investigation and has been given evidence about the PEDs he supplied to Braun and other players.
That's why this suspension is merely the first shoe to drop. All indications are that more suspensions are coming and that Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees (who has already severed a previous 50-game suspension for drug violations) will be on the list. A second offense could result in a 100-game suspension without pay.
Braun's suspension was announced first because, according to ESPN, he essentially made a plea deal with league officials. After realizing the evidence against him was so strong, he reached an agreement with the league to ensure that his inevitable suspension would be limited to the 2013 season.