By Kevin Aherne
Cycling has Lance Armstrong, Football has Aaron Hernandez, Golf has Tiger Woods; and now baseball has its hero turned goat...
Ryan Braun, one of the most exciting young players in the game, the 2011 MVP of the National League, and the face of the Brewers' franchise, will sit out for the rest of the 2013 season without pay. Due to overwhelming circumstantial evidence that connected him to Anthony Bosch and his Biogenesis clinic in Miami, Braun will miss the next 65 games, and forfeit over $3 million in salary. On June 29th, the former MVP met with league officials, but refused to speak to the league about his affiliation to Bosch. However, as more evidence came to the surface, the 29-year old outfielder requested another meeting with the league to broker a plea deal.
If you remember, it was just over a year ago that Braun was suspended for failing a drug test. The suspension was overturned after the appeal produced evidence of procedural missteps in the handling of the urine sample. Although there was no indication of tampering, the specimen was not processed in the manner dictated by MLB's Collective Bargaining Agreement.
So, Braun walked on a technicality. However, rather than accepting his good fortune and quietly carrying on with his tail between his legs, Braun opted to take the arrogant route:
“The simple truth is that I’m innocent. I’ve maintained my innocence from Day 1, and ultimately I was proven to be innocent.” -Ryan Braun, 2012
Now Ryan Braun becomes the poster child to the post-steroid-steroid era. The new era in which the methods to identify PED use are nearly as intricate as the methods to circumvent detection. We are only weeks removed from Bud Selig's proclamation that baseball is "the cleanest it has ever been," but Ryan Braun, and the 70-plus other names attached to Biogenesis seem to indicate a different reality.
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