MLB Suspends Former MVP For Rest of the Season

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
July 22 2013 6:13 PM

MLB Suspends Former MVP For Rest of the Season For Violating League's Drug Policy

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Ryan Braun #8 of the Milwaukee Brewers grounds out in the bottom of the third inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Miller Park on July 09, 2013 in Milwaukee, Wisc.

Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

Wow, looks like the news cycle is no longer stalled now that Buckingham palace has finally delivered the news of the royal baby. ESPN with today's big news from the world of baseball:

Major League Baseball has suspended Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun without pay for the remainder of the 2013 season.  Braun will not contest the suspension which was meted out for "violations of the Basic Agreement and its Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program," according to a statement released by MLB. ... The suspension totals the final 65 games of the Brewers' season and any potential postseason games this year.
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The fact that Braun is being linked to performance-enhancing drugs isn't exactly shocking: the five-time all-star failed a drug test in the 2011 postseason but successfully appealed what would have been a 50-game suspension thanks to a chain-of-custody issue with his positive sample, and has been similarly linked to Biogenesis of America LLC, the rather sketchy Miami "wellness clinic" that is now at the center of a larger PED scandal. What is surprising, however, is that Braun isn't fighting the suspension this time—something that suggests the possibility that the 65-game ban may actually represent something of a plea deal for the 2011 National League MVP. "I realize now that I have made some mistakes," Braun said in a statement. "I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions."

Sports Illustrated explains that Braun's punishment actually falls under the commissioner's powers of discipline for "just cause" rather than the Joint Drug Agreement, which relates to failed drug tests and normally carries with it a 50-game suspension for first-time offenders. SI also reports that MLB officials are optimistic that Braun's suspension could cause a "domino effect" that leads to similar appeal-free punishment for other stars.

***Follow @JoshVoorhees and the rest of the @slatest team on Twitter.***

This post has been updated with additional information.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

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