Milwaukee Brewers star player and former National League Most Valuable Player Ryan Braun has been suspended by Major League Baseball for the rest of this season for violating the league’s rules on performance-enhancing drugs.
Braun issued a statement after the 65-game suspension was announced, apologizing for the mistakes he made, but not specifically admitting that he used PEDs. Braun had long denied using such drugs, and a previous suspension had been overturned on a technicality related to the handling of a urine sample.
Sports contributor Howie Magner, who is also senior editor and sports writer for Milwaukee Magazine, says Braun's suspension will likely haunt him for the rest of his career.
“A violation of the league's drug agreement automatically taints you,” Magner says, “because at the heart of that matter, it’s branding you a cheater.”
Fans may now be questioning Braun's skills and whether his "enhanced" performance is responsible for the team’s position in the MLB.
"The question is: ‘Let’s assume he’s going to be clean going forward, is he still going to produce numbers on the level that is deserving of the kind of contract we’re giving him?'" Magner says. "Would the Brewers have been able to accomplish everything they’ve done had Ryan Braun not been there?”
While other teams may also have players with possible pending suspensions due to PED usage, the Brewers have less financial security. For instance, Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees is reportedly under suspicion as well, but the Yankees, with considerably more resources than the Brewers, would be able to cut their losses.
But Magner says Milwaukee is dependent upon game attendance; if Ryan Braun, the face of the Brewers' franchise, is to credit for Miller Park’s high attendance, the suspension of their hard-hitting star could be felt in more ways than their ability to bring home wins.