Report: Braun suspension tied to summer of ’11
As Ryan Braun’s suspension — and his silence — entered Day 3, details began to emerge about the transgressions that led to his suspension under Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
Citing anonymous sources, ESPN.com investigative reporter T.J. Quinn reported that Braun’s relationship with Tony Bosch and Biogenesis began during the summer of 2011, several months before the October drug test which would trigger Braun’s long battle with MLB. Quinn said via Twitter that his sources allege Braun “was on a performance-enhancing drug regimen for high-end clients” and posted an image of a note, allegedly in Bosch’s own handwriting, detailing one such regimen, including mint- or cherry-flavored lozenges containing testosterone that a user would place under his tongue.
In July of that year, Braun was dealing with a left calf strain suffered on an eighth inning groundout at Minnesota on July 2. The next morning, Braun was named a starting outfielder on the National League All-Star team — the league’s leading vote-getter — but he would miss the Midsummer Classic because of his injury.
Braun rejoined the Brewers’ lineup on July 14 but continued to battle calf pain (he missed a July 22 start because of the issue). He batted .346 in his final 67 regular season games with 17 home runs and 49 RBIs, then hit.405 with nine extra-base hits in the postseason, including a 3-for-4 performance in Game 1 of the National League Division Series. It was after that game that Braun submitted the urine sample that allegedly showed elevated levels of synthetic testosterone, triggering a 50-game suspension which Braun successfully appealed by questioning the chain of custody of his sample.
On Monday, he was suspended for the remainder of 2013 for unspecified violations of the Joint Drug Agreement. Braun said in a statement released by MLB, “I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions.”
He has not come forward since that announcement to answer any additional questions and it remained unclear Wednesday morning whether he would do so.
For MLB.com’s full coverage of the Braun suspension, see our main story from Monday and my follow-up notes from Tuesday. Among the reactions from around Major League Baseball, Dodgers outfielder and 2011 NL MVP runner-up Matt Kemp said that Braun should be stripped of that award.
Follow me on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy