Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun admitted to using performance enhancing drugs today and was suspended for the rest of the 2013 season without pay. Braun was one of roughly 20 names listed in the Biogenesis reports, which included Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta.
Braun was acquitted of a positive test in December of 2011 after the test was improperly handled according to the MLB's drug policy. The news came days after Braun was named the 2011 National League MVP. It has left a cloud over his achievements in the minds of many fans ever since.
Braun and New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez were the two high profile names listed in the Biogenesis documents of Tony Bosch, and were believed by many to be the two players in commissioner Bud Selig's crosshairs when the names were originally leaked in 2012. The MLB has been threatening to suspend players for over a month now, but many believed that suspensions wouldn't be handed out until at least August, if in 2013 at all.
The interesting thing about this admission of guilt and subsequent suspension is that the MLB and Braun released concurrent official statements. Braun will miss 65 games due to the suspension, but with his injury concerns this season and the Brewers well out of the playoff race, it leaves some pondering the timing of his admission of guilt. There's no way Braun would admit to using PEDs if he had not used them in the past, but with little to play for at this point in the season it makes some sense for him to cooperate with the MLB to avoid a lengthier suspension in 2014 or beyond.
With Braun the first domino to fall in the Biogenesis scandal, we're left to wonder what will happen with the other players that have been accused of PED use. Specifically, Jhonny Peralta has denied PED use in the past, but could face a suspension of 50 games or more if the MLB finds evidence that he was supplied with illegal substances by Bosch or the Biogenesis clinic.
At this point, we have no idea what is going to happen. Braun has been linked with steroid use multiple times in the past, including the aforementioned failed test, while Peralta's only involvement came when the Biogenesis clinic names were released. Braun's suspension could indicate that the MLB has more evidence than they have let on, but we have no way of knowing at this point.