The Norman Transcript

National Sports

July 23, 2013

MLB drops hammer on Brewers’ Braun

(Continued)

NEW YORK —

Brewers general manager Doug Melvin spoke with Braun but wouldn’t divulge details of the discussion.

“I’m disappointed. He’s a very important player to our organization and to the ballclub and to our performance on the field,” Melvin said.

Braun met with MLB investigators in late June. Baseball’s probe was boosted when Anthony Bosch, who ran Biogenesis, agreed last month to cooperate with the sport’s investigators.

The suspension is the latest in a string of high-profile drug cases across sports. Cyclist Lance Armstrong, a seven-time Tour de France winner, ended years of denials in January, admitting he doped to win. Positive tests were disclosed this month involving sprinters Tyson Gay, Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson.

By serving the entire penalty this year, Braun gains a slight monetary advantage. His salary increases to $10 million next year, when a 65-game suspension would cost him about $500,000 more.

“We commend Ryan Braun for taking responsibility for his past actions,” Rob Manfred, MLB’s executive vice president for economics and league affairs, said in a statement. “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.”

Negotiations over penalties for other players haven’t begun, according to a second person familiar with the probe, also speaking on condition of anonymity because no statements were authorized.

Rodriguez admitted using PEDs while with Texas from 2001-03 but has denied taking them since.

A three-time AL MVP, Rodriguez has been sidelined all season following January hip surgery and was hoping to be activated this week. A quadriceps injury developed while he played at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and caused him to remain on the disabled list. He is not expected at the Yankees’ minor league complex in Tampa, Fla., until Wednesday.

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