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Ryan Braun reportedly would not answer questions about Biogenesis

Ryan BraunMLB plans to suspend Ryan Braun, Alex Rodriguez, and as many as 20 other players soon after the All-Star break because of their ties to Biogenesis, ESPN’s Outside the Lines reports.

Tony Bosch, who ran the Biogenesis clinic, cut a deal with MLB last month to provide information which helped them build their cases against the players in question.

One reason Braun could be facing a lengthy suspension is because he would not answer questions about his relationship with Biogenesis or Bosch during a June 29 meeting with MLB, per Outside the Lines.

Braun has repeatedly denied using performance-enhancing drugs despite failing a drug test in 2011 and appearing in the Biogenesis records.

Braun’s 50-game suspension for the positive test was overturned after he won his appeal because the tester did not follow proper protocol when handling the sample. Braun also said he was listed in Bosch’s notes because his lawyers used Bosch as a consultant during his appeal.

Braun continues to avoid the subject matter. He said through a club spokesperson that he will not address the Biogenesis issue with reporters.

Anthony Bosch reportedly cuts deal with MLB after Alex Rodriguez refuses to pay

Anthony-Bosch-mugshotMajor League Baseball is reportedly in the process of cutting a deal with Anthony Bosch that could result in a hefty suspension for Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun and nearly two dozen other MLB players. Back in April, the New York Times reported that MLB had paid some former Biogenesis employees for documents related to the case. Now, it appears they are working closely with the man in charge of the clinic as well.

According to the NY Daily News, Bosch recently asked Rodriguez for financial help and the Yankees’ slugger refused his request for money. As a result, Bosch has agreed to cooperate with MLB in its ongoing investigation. If the league did not strike a deal with him, the concern was that Bosch might turn to players for money and cover up the case.

“They were afraid someone else would pay him,” a source reportedly told the NY Daily News. “Bosch is the only guy that can provide them with what they need.”

Bosch and his lawyer, Susy Ribero-Ayala, allegedly informed MLB that they are willing to provide “damaging information” about Bosch’s past dealings with A-Rod and Braun. Braun is believed to have worked with Bosch as far back as his days playing college baseball at Miami.

In order to get Bosch to cooperate, MLB has had to really sweeten the pot. The Daily News reports that the league has agreed to drop the lawsuit it filed against him earlier in the year, pay his legal bills, protect him from any civil liability that might arise and provide him with personal security. Officials also say MLB will intervene if any law enforcement officials come after Bosch for admitting he supplied players with performance-enhancing drugs.

The obvious question is this: what if Bosch lies? What if he simply says he treated A-Rod, Braun and dozens of others because he likes the deal MLB is offering? NY Daily News legal analyst Tom Harvey insists it won’t be that simple and that the league had little choice.

“Put yourself in their position,” Harvey said. “You ask the witness to help you and he says, ‘Why would I do that? I’m going to get burned if I do, sued, the works.’ In light of what some of these athletes have done in the past with lawsuits and threats, including Lance Armstrong and Roger Clemens, why wouldn’t you want to be indemnified? Defending that lawsuit could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Bosch feels that he has been “falsely accused” and has done nothing wrong. His decision to cooperate with MLB could spell bad news and an end to the season for Rodriguez, Braun and others.

100-game suspensions for A-Rod and Ryan Braun? MLB is on a rampage

Ryan BraunMLB is looking to suspend around 20 players for their alleged involvement with Biogenesis, a now-defunct anti-aging clinic run by quack Tony Bosch that allegedly doubled as a supplier of performance-enhancing drugs to several athletes, ESPN reports.

The most jaw-dropping item in the ESPN “Outside the Lines” report is that MLB might seek 100-game suspensions for former MVPs Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun, which is the penalty for a second doping offense. According to ESPN, MLB will consider the players’ connection to Bosch a first offense, and the players denying involvement with Biogenesis in statements to MLB a second offense.

ESPN says Bosch is broke, living with friends and/or family, and fearful of facing charges from the federal government. Though in the past Bosch denied association with athletes, he reportedly is now prepared to talk to MLB because he supposedly believes cooperating with them is his only option. MLB would also be cutting him a sweet deal.

ESPN states in its report:

In exchange for Bosch’s full cooperation, sources said, Major League Baseball will drop the lawsuit it filed against Bosch in March, indemnify him for any liability arising from his cooperation, provide personal security for him and even put in a good word with any law enforcement agency that might bring charges against him.

MLB is also looking for cooperation from two other former Bosch employees so that they would have more documented statements and evidence against the players involved with the clinic.

Currently, ESPN has the names of 15 players who may face suspension. They say about 20 could face suspension. It’s possibly that the remaining players appear in Bosch’s notes under code names.

Based on the names of players we have, the teams who would be hit hardest by the potential suspensions include:

[Read more...]

Ryan Braun reportedly on list of players who received PEDs from Biogenesis

Ryan BraunRyan Braun said in a statement that his name appeared in Anthony Bosch’s Biogenesis records because his legal team used Bosch as a consultant for its suspension appeal case. ESPN appears to have found evidence suggesting Braun’s name also appeared on a list of players who received performance-enhancing drugs from the company.

ESPN’s T.J. Quinn and Mike Fish report that Braun’s name appears on a list written by Bosch that has the figure 1500 next to the name. A source told them that the list is for players who received PEDs from Bosch’s Biogenesis clinic.

Francisco Cervelli’s name appears below Braun’s, while Melky Cabrera and Alex Rodriguez appear above it. Cabrera was suspended 50 games after tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone last season. Rodriguez admitted in 2008 to using PEDs earlier in his career, though he denies involvement with Biogenesis.

Braun tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone during his MVP season in 2011. He avoided suspension because the urine sample collector did not follow proper protocol when sending the sample back to the lab for testing.

Previous Bosch records published by Yahoo! Sports had “RB 20-30k” listed. Braun’s statement said that was because there was a dispute over how much he owed Bosch for his services as a consultant. The new document would put a hole in that explanation.

Photo credit: Mark J. Rebilas, US Presswire

Ryan Braun listed in Biogenesis records, claims he used Anthony Bosch as consultant during appeal

Ryan BraunRyan Braun’s name was listed in Biogenesis clinic records, but the former NL MVP says that is only because his team used Anthony Bosch as a consultant during his suspension appeal last year.

Yahoo! Sports reported on Tuesday that Braun’s name was listed three times in Biogenesis records they obtained. They say his name was not listed next to any PEDs, but that numerical notations “RB 20-30K” appeared by his name, which may be the amount of money he owed the clinic.

Biogenesis documents also reportedly mention Chris Lyons, who was one of Braun’s attorneys when he appealed his PED suspension for testing positive for elevated levels of testosterone in 2011. Braun escaped the suspension because the sample collector did not follow the proper chain of command. Braun never explained why his sample contained elevated levels of testosterone.

Braun released the following statement in response to his reported connection with Biogenesis:

“During the course of preparing for my successful appeal last year, my attorneys, who were previously familiar with Tony Bosch, used him as a consultant. More specifically, he answered questions about T/E ratio and possibilities of tampering with samples.

“There was a dispute over compensation for Bosch’s work, which is why my lawyer and I are listed under ‘moneys owed’ and not on any other list.

“I have nothing to hide and have never had any other relationship with Bosch.

“I will fully cooperate with any inquiry into this matter.”

Braun’s explanation is about as solid as it gets, though there is plenty of circumstantial evidence against him.

Yahoo! Sports reports that Braun’s name appears on a list that includes Alex Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera, and Cesar Carrillo, all of whom received PEDs from Bosch, per the Miami New Times. Cabrera failed a drug test last season.

Braun reportedly was road roommates with Carrillo, who is a pitcher in the Detroit Tigers’ organization, for three years at Miami. Braun’s strength coach for three years at Miami was Jimmy Goins, who was listed as a PED supplier by the New Times.

There is no concrete evidence proving Braun has used PEDs, but he is facing an enormous amount of circumstantial evidence.

Photo credit: Jerry Lai, US Presswire

Bromance continues: Aaron Rodgers, Ryan Braun are opening a restaurant together

Aaron Rodgers and Ryan Braun have a lot in common and have developed a friendship because of it. They’re both star athletes in Wisconsin, from California, and they each won MVP awards last year. Rodgers defended Braun when the failed drug test first came out, and he told MLB to eat crow after Braun won his appeal. Now the two are opening a restaurant in Brookfield, Wisc. together — Braun’s second restaurant.

According to a press release, the restaurant will be called “8*twelve” and it’s expected to open in late June.

“8*twelve will offer American cuisine including many family favorites as well as steaks and seafood. Executive Chef Aaron Patin designed the menu, creating items that will offer an extra zest of flavor by being prepared in the wood fire grill, a center point of the kitchen. Fans of both players will see memorabilia in the bar area, which will also include numerous big-screen televisions to catch sporting events.”

Both players are expected to make scheduled and unscheduled appearances at the restaurant, which they say is another way to connect with the sports fans of Wisconsin. With both of their names attached, I have to imagine it will be pretty successful.

Braun and Rodgers co-owning a restaurant? This is so cute.

Ryan Braun booed in first spring training road game

Ryan Bruan has already dealt with his share of hecklers thus far in spring training, so it probably wasn’t surprising that he was greeted with a heavy chorus of boos against the Angels on Saturday in his first road game of Cactus League play since his much-discussed 50-game drug suspension was overturned last month. From the Los Angeles Times:

There were modest cheers, and there were scattered fans wearing his Milwaukee Brewers jersey, or cheering for the defending National League most valuable player. But the boos carried the day, the first of many days this season when a road game will not be a pleasant experience for Braun.

Braun still has a favorable approval rating in the Brewers’ own state of Wisconsin. (In other news, the sun rises in the east.) But, obviously, the true test of his popularity will be on the road this season. If we learned anything from Barry Bonds’ great achievements in public relations, it’s that once your name is tied to steroids — guilty or not — you become a marked man.

If this was the reaction Braun gets in a small spring training venue from typically laid-back Angels fans, it should be fun to see how he’ll be received ballpark to ballpark this season. But Angels outfielder Torii Hunter thinks any vitriol from fans will eventually dissipate.

“It’s going to go away,” Hunter said. “Eventually, people will forgive you. Braun is a nice guy. They’re going to forgive him.”

Sure, the jeering might fade away down the road, but, as Bonds, Sosa, Clemens and McGwire know, the cloud of suspicion never will.

Photo credit: Mark J. Rebilas, US Presswire