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MLB Suspends Brewers Star Ryan Braun


Major League Baseball announced that it is suspending outfielder Ryan Braun for the rest of the season for violating its drug policy. Braun was the 2011 National League Most Valuable Player. Before that, he was Rookie of the Year and several times in All-Star. He plays for the Milwaukee Brewers, and he is one of several star players who faced scrutiny by baseball for apparent ties to an anti-aging clinic in Miami called Biogenesis.

Joining us to talk more about this is NPR's Tom Goldman. And, Tom, what did Major League Baseball say today?

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Well, pretty much what you said, Robert, that Ryan Braun has been suspended without pay for the remainder of the 2013 championship season and post season for violating the basic agreement in its joint drug prevention and treatment program. It is his ties to the Biogenesis clinic, as you say. And Rob Manfred, another baseball executive said, and I quote, "We commend Ryan Braun for taking responsibility for his past actions. We all agree that it is in the best interest 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."

SIEGEL: Now, Ryan Braun was the first player to successfully appeal a drug suspension last year. No appeal this time. What was his reaction this time?

GOLDMAN: Yeah, that's right. As Rob Manfred said, he's - Ryan Braun is taking responsibility for his past actions. Braun said, and this is another quote, "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 has been a distraction to my teammates and the Brewers organization."

So no appeal. Ryan Braun, evidently, was presented with enough evidence by Major League Baseball investigators that he will not appeal this thing.

SIEGEL: Braun isn't the only player facing a possible suspension. We've heard the names of Alex Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera, mentioned. What's the word from the players' union? How did they react to all this?

GOLDMAN: Well, you know, the union has said there will not be a blanket support for the players. Last week, union head Michael Weiner said the union, of course, would make sure due process is being upheld. But he also said, and I'm paraphrasing here, that if there's overwhelming evidence against players, the union won't fight sanctions.

Now, a source close to the case told me that current players just don't have the stomach for that. They want to take ownership of the doping issue, and they want a clean game. And, Robert, you compare this to attitudes and the foot dragging on the doping issue as recently as eight to 10 years ago, and this is a dramatic difference.

SIEGEL: Thanks, Tom.

GOLDMAN: You're welcome.

SIEGEL: That's NPR's Tom Goldman on the season-ending suspension of baseball player Ryan Braun. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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