It appears that suspended Milwaukee Brewers superstar Ryan Braun will have even more explaining to do whenever he decides to address his 65-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball's drug policy.
According to "three sources familiar with the conversations," Braun reportedly contacted several players during spring training in 2012 to lobby for support from some of the sport's biggest names and to discredit the urine collector who handled his positive sample in late 2011, Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan reports.
Among those contacted, according to the report, was Los Angeles Dodgers star Matt Kemp, who finished second in the National League MVP vote to Braun in 2011, as well as Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds and Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies.
Passan adds that sources say Braun told several players, including teammates, that the urine collector was anti-Semitic and a fan of the Chicago Cubs—the obvious implications being that he was unfairly targeted for his Jewish heritage and team affiliation.
What's more disturbing is that many players who Braun spoke to reportedly believed the allegations.
Braun tested positive for an illegal substance following the 2011 season but appealed the 50-game suspension and won his grievance in February 2012 due to a breach in chain-of-custody protocol.
"I am very pleased and relieved by today's decision," Braun said in a statement at the time. "It is the first step in restoring my good name and reputation. We were able to get through this because I am innocent and the truth is on our side."
He would appear in 154 games in 2012, batting .319 and leading the National League with a career-high 41 home runs.
Earlier this year Braun was one of nearly two dozen notable big league names linked to the Biogenesis clinic in Coral Gables, Fla., where disgraced owner Tony Bosch reportedly supplied PEDs to some of baseball's top players.
The 29-year-old Braun won National League Rookie of the Year honors in 2007 and earned five All-Star nods from 2008 to 2012 in addition to winning the NL MVP two seasons ago.
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