MLB suspends Braun for remainder of season

Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun has been suspended without pay by Major League Baseball for the remainder of the 2013 season for violations of the Basic Agreement and its Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Braun has accepted the penalty that was handed down on Monday.

"As I have acknowledged in the past, I am not perfect," Braun said in a statement. "I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions. This situation has taken a toll on me and my entire family, and it is has been a distraction to my teammates and the Brewers organization.

"I am very grateful for the support I have received from players, ownership and the fans in Milwaukee and around the country. Finally, I wish to apologize to anyone I may have disappointed -- all of the baseball fans especially those in Milwaukee, the great Brewers organization, and my teammates. I am glad to have this matter behind me once and for all, and I cannot wait to get back to the game I love."

The suspension commences immediately, so Braun will be absent for the final 65 games of the season, beginning with the Brewers' game Monday night at Miller Park against San Diego. The former National League MVP is also banned from any potential postseason games this year.

Braun had a 50-game suspension overturned in February 2012. He tested positive for elevated testosterone levels the previous October, but won the appeal of that test when he challenged the chain of command protocols regarding how the samples were stored.

Recently, Braun and other professional baseball players, including Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, have been linked to the Biogenesis of America clinic that allegedly provided performance-enhancing drugs to the players.

Braun had insisted throughout both cases that he was innocent of using performance-enhancing drugs, but he finally came clean.

"We commend Ryan Braun for taking responsibility for his past actions," said Rob Manfred, executive vice president, economics & league affairs for Major League Baseball. "We all agree that it is in the best interests of the game to resolve this matter. When Ryan returns, we look forward to him making positive contributions to Major League Baseball, both on and off the field."

ESPN reported earlier this month that as many as 20 players could be suspended for alleged involvement with the Florida anti-aging clinic run by Anthony Bosch.

Braun hit .332 with 33 homers and 111 RBI in 2011 to win the NL MVP award. In 2012, the five-time All-Star hit .319 with 41 homers and 112 RBI.

The 29-year-old Braun was hitting .298 with nine home runs and 38 RBI in 61 games this season.

"I am deeply gratified to see Ryan taking this bold step," said Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Michael Weiner. "It vindicates the rights of all players under the Joint Drug Program. It is good for the game that Ryan will return soon to continue his great work both on and off the field."