Ryan Braun Speaks Out for First Time Since PED Suspension

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistNovember 27, 2013

USA Today

Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun has kept a low profile since serving a 65-game suspension this past season for violating MLB's performance-enhancing-drug policy. The embattled slugger finally spoke about the situation at a Thanksgiving food drive outside Miller Park on Wednesday, however.   

As seen in this video courtesy of CBS58 in Milwaukee, Braun solemnly and humbly answered questions regarding his PED suspension.

According to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com, Braun expressed a great deal of remorse for the actions that led to his suspension.

I wish I had the ability to go back and change things and do things a lot differently. Unfortunately, I can’t do that. All I can do is move on, try to do everything in my power to earn people’s trust and respect and support. I don’t anticipate winning back everybody’s support, but I certainly intend to do everything in my power to do that. I won’t stop trying.

Per McCalvy, Braun accepted the suspension in July after maintaining his innocence for 19 months. It was revealed in December 2011 that one of his urine samples tested positive for heightened levels of testosterone. Braun fought the suspension and got it overturned in February 2012 after he and his team argued that his sample was mishandled.

Braun ultimately decided to come clean in the wake of the Biogenesis scandal that resulted in the suspension of several major league players in 2013.

Not only did Braun damage his own reputation, but he also brought down sample collector Dino Laurenzi with him. According to McCalvy, though, Braun and his fiancee had dinner with Laurenzi on Tuesday.

“We had some really good conversations. We’ve made amends, and I think we’re both excited to be able to move forward and put this behind us.”

Braun refused to say why he decided to initially throw Laurenzi under the bus rather than taking full responsibility from the start, but he admitted to regretting the decision.

“I’m not really going to get into too many specifics. I wish that I hadn’t done the press conference. It was a big mistake. I deeply regret having done it, and a lot of the things that I said that day."

Braun is obviously going to have to answer questions about his PED use for the foreseeable future, but he is doing everything possible to put it behind him.

But again, all I can do is move forward, and in an effort to do that I’m not going to get into too many specifics. I really don’t think that it does anything too positive or productive for me, for the team, for the game of baseball or anybody else. And in an effort to move forward, I’m not going to discuss that subject.

Perhaps the easiest way for him to do that is by producing on the field. Braun is a five-time All-Star who has hit more than 30 home runs and drove in more than 100 runs in a season five times respectively. He was also the National League MVP in 2011, when he hit .332 with 33 homers and 111 RBI, stealing 33 bases as well.

Many will continue to wonder whether anything that Braun has done over the course of his career is authentic and fair, but he has a chance to answer those questions in 2014. 

The healing process started on Wednesday; however, it isn't over by a long shot.


Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter