For the second time, Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun is defending his reputation as he explains a Yahoo report linking him to a Miami clinic that allegedly supplied performance-enhancing drugs to major league baseball players.
Last February, Braun, then the reigning National League MVP, managed to accomplish a nearly impossible feat as he successfully appealed a 50-game suspension stemming from a positive test for testosterone.
Now, Yahoo reports that his name has turned up in the ledger of Biogenesis of America LLC, Tony Bosch’s Miami clinic that allegedly provided PEDs to high-profile baseball players like Alex Rodriguez, Gio Gonzalez, Melky Cabrera, Francisco Cervelli, Danny Valencia and Cesar Carrillo, as first reported by the Miami New Times.
Just as he did last February when his appeal was overturned, Braun defended his reputation. Although he acknowledged a relationship with Bosch, he said that his name was listed only in connection with $20,000-$30,000 allegedly owed in consultant fees and not in connection with any drugs. In a statement released Wednesday night, he said:
“During the course of preparing for my successful appeal last year, my attorneys, who were previously familiar with Tony Bosch, used him as a consultant. More specifically, he answered questions about T/E [testosterone/epitestosterone] ratio and possibilities of tampering with samples.
“There was a dispute over compensation for Bosch’s work, which is why my lawyer and I are listed under “moneys owed” and not on any other list.
“I have nothing to hide and have never had any other relationship with Bosch.
“I will fully cooperate with any inquiry into this matter.”
Braun led the NL in home runs (41), runs (108) and slugging percentage (.595) and his .319 with 112 RBI He finished second to San Francisco’s Buster Posey in MVP balloting, but now MLB has a second chance to make an allegation stick to Braun. Fox Sports’ Jon Morosi writes:
Braun’s successful appeal of a failed test for elevated testosterone from October 2011 represents the most public defeat of the MLB drug program. In the aftermath of the decision by arbitrator Shyam Das last Feb. 23, MLB issued a statement saying it “vehemently” disagreed with Das’ ruling. MLB vice president Rob Manfred publicly took issue with Braun’s assertion that baseball’s testing program was “fatally flawed.” Months later, MLB fired Das.
So, it would appear that a number of important people at the commissioner’s office believe a guilty man skated through the sport’s justice system one year ago. Here is their chance to rectify that. But it won’t be easy.
Hanging in the balance, as Morosi writes, is Braun’s reputation.
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