Ryan Braun (AP)
Brewers slugger Ryan Braun, in his first remarks to the media since his season-ending 65-game suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal, expressed regret about the suspension and his adamant prior claims (after getting a 50-game suspension for a positive PED test overturned in 2012) that he had never used performance enhancing drugs. But he declined to go into any further detail about his past behavior, instead suggesting that it was his responsibility to earn back the faith of those whom he had disappointed.
“Obviously I’ve been through a lot and as I expressed in my statement (released by Major League Baseball at the time his suspension was announced) that I felt was pretty lengthy and specific, I got into a lot of details at that point. I’m not really going to go into any further details,” Braun told reporters in Milwaukee. “I’m deeply remorseful about what happened. I wish I had the ability to go back and change things and do things a lot differently, but unfortunately I can’t do that. All I can do is move on and try to do everything in my power to earn back peoples’ trust and respect and support. I don’t anticipate being able to earn back everybody’s support, but I certainly intend to do everything in my power to do that and I won’t stop trying.”
Asked about his press conference professing his innocence in the face of his suspension for steroid use in 2012 — a suspension that was overturned on procedural grounds based on the chain-of-custody followed by the delivery of the sample that was tested — Braun suggested that his stance that day was “a mistake.”
“I’m not really, again, 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 told reporters. “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, the team, the game of baseball or anybody else. And in an effort to move forward, I’m not going to discuss that subject.”
Braun, the 2011 NL MVP, said that he hopes to return at an even higher level of play in 2014 than what he’s done to date in his career.
“I certainly intend to go out there and be the same player that I’ve been,” he told reporters. “Hopefully I continue to get better, and if that opportunity presents itself it’d be great. But I guess my whole focus is just on doing everything I can to come back next year and be a great player.”
For a complete transcript of Braun’s remarks, click here.