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Braun was the first of 14 players disciplined this year as a result of the Biogenesis probe. Twelve accepted 50-game penalties, including a trio of All-Stars: Texas outfielder Nelson Cruz, Detroit shortstop Jhonny Peralta and San Diego shortstop Everth Cabrera.
Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is appealing his 211-game penalty, assessed for violations of the drug program and labor contract.
In his initial meeting with MLB investigators to discuss Biogenesis, Braun declined to answer questions. But in the statement, he said he initiated a second session with MLB during which he admitted his guilt and began discussing a penalty.
"After my interview with MLB in late June of this year, I came to the realization that it was time to come to grips with the truth," Braun said. "I was never presented with baseball’s evidence against me, but I didn’t need to be, because I knew what I had done."
Braun’s urine tested positive for elevated testosterone from a sample collected on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011, after Milwaukee’s NL division series opener against Arizona. The drug collector, Dino Laurenzi Jr., stored the samples from Braun and two other players at home and dropped them off at a Federal Express office on Monday, rather than send them immediately, as specified in baseball’s drug collection rules.
The players’ association argued that the specimen was handled improperly, and arbitrator Shyam Das overturned the discipline on Feb. 23 last year.
During a news conference the following day on the field at Milwaukee’s spring training stadium in Phoenix, Braun proclaimed he had been vindicated and questioned Laurenzi’s methods. A week later Braun’s lawyer criticized Laurenzi when the collector defended himself.
"I have no one to blame but myself. I know that over the last year and a half I made some serious mistakes, both in the information I failed to share during my arbitration hearing and the comments I made to the press afterwards," Braun said. "I have disappointed the people closest to me — the ones who fought for me because they truly believed me all along. I kept the truth from everyone. For a long time, I was in denial and convinced myself that I had not done anything wrong."
After he accepted his suspension — 50 games for the drug infraction and 15 games for his conduct at the time of the grievance — Braun was heavily criticized by players around the major leagues.
"I thought this whole thing has been despicable on his part," Detroit pitcher Max Scherzer said then. "When he did get caught, he never came clean. He tried to question the ability of the collector when he was caught red-handed. So that’s why the whole Braun situation, there is so much player outrage toward him."
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