Ryan Braun suspended for rest of season

Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun has been suspended without pay for the rest of the season, a 65-game ban announced Monday by Major League Baseball in what appears to be the first salvo in the league's fight against players allegedly tied to the Biogenesis lab.

The announcement from commissioner Bud Selig said the suspension was for violations of the basic agreement and its joint drug prevention and treatment program and is effective immediately.

"As I have acknowledged in the past, I am not perfect," Braun said in a statement released by MLB that did not specifically mention Biogenesis. "I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions."

Braun is the first player suspended in the wake of baseball's Biogenesis investigation, though the MLB release did not mention that probe. The commissioner's office tried to suspend Braun in 2012 for a urine sample with elevated levels of testosterone, but an arbitrator ruled that a Braun's urine sample was mishandled and Braun succesfully appealed the suspension.

Braun is making $9.61 million this season; the suspension will cost him $3.85 million in salary. Braun is under contract through 2020 in Milwaukee after signing a five-year, $105 million extension in April 2011.

It appears Braun and MLB negotiated the terms of his suspension; he is one of about 20 players who figure to face discipline in the Biogenesis, a list that includes former All-Stars like Alex Rodriguez, Bartolo Colon, Nelson Cruz and Melky Cabrera.

More than 80 players' names appear in the Biogenesis documents that eventually ended up in MLB's hands after it struck a deal with Tony Bosch, who founded the now-shuttered Miami clinic.

"I am deeply gratified to see Ryan taking this bold step," said Mike Weiner, executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association. "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."

Weiner said at baseball's All-Star break that appeals in the matter could drag into the winter.

Braun is the face of the Brewers franchise. He was most valuable player in the National league in 2011, the season of his disputed urine sample. He has led the NL in slugging percentage three times.

Braun's statement continued: "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."

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