Ryan Braun has finally come clean.
After being suspended last month for the remainder of the 2013 season, the Milwaukee Brewers’ outfielder and 2011 National League MVP admitted in a statement Thursday to using a cream and lozenge containing performance-enhancing drugs banned by Major League Baseball. Braun claims he used the supplements to help rehab a nagging injury, but admitted doing so was a mistake in judgment.
"It was a huge mistake for which I am deeply ashamed and I compounded the situation by not admitting my mistakes immediately," Braun said in the statement, which was released by the Brewers.
"I have no one to blame but myself. I know that over the last year and a half I made some serious mistakes, both in the information I failed to share during my arbitration hearing and the comments I made to the press afterwards," Braun said. "I have disappointed the people closest to me -- the ones who fought for me because they truly believed me all along. I kept the truth from everyone. For a long time, I was in denial and convinced myself that I had not done anything wrong."
In October 2011, a urine specimen from Braun tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone and was subsequently suspended for 50 games. However, the suspension was overturned when Braun appealed and an arbitrator found Dino Laurenzi Jr., the specimen’s handler, did not follow official protocol by not mailing Braun’s sample to MLB right away.
Early this year, Braun was connected to Biogenesis, an anti-aging clinic that supplied Major and Minor League Baseball players with performance enhancing drugs. In June, Braun met with MLB officials and accepted his 65-game suspension based on the league’s findings.
"After my interview with MLB in late June of this year, I came to the realization that it was time to come to grips with the truth," he said. "I was never presented with baseball's evidence against me, but I didn't need to be, because I knew what I had done."