Braun clears air with Dino Laurenzi
- Should Braun Be Forgiven?
Should Braun Be Forgiven?
MILWAUKEE -- Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun said Wednesday that he's "made amends" with the collector he accused of mishandling his urine sample, which produced a positive drug test as part of Major League Baseball's Biogenesis doping scandal.
Braun was taking part in a food drive at Miller Park and spoke publicly for the first time since accepting a season-ending suspension for violating baseball's anti-drug agreement. He said he is "deeply remorseful" and eager to get back to playing after serving a 65-game penalty.
The five-time All-Star tested positive for elevated testosterone in October of his 2011 NL MVP season, but his 50-game suspension was overturned when an arbitrator ruled the urine sample was mishandled. All along, Braun maintained his innocence and heavy criticism fell on the urine sample collector, Dino Laurenzi Jr.
Asked if he apologized to Laurenzi or offered him compensation, Braun said Wednesday, "I have not made any payments to him. I've had some really productive and positive conversations with him. The Laurenzi family was actually gracious and kind enough to have my fiancée, Larisa, and I over to their house for dinner last night, and we had some really good conversation.
"We've made amends and I think we're both excited to be able to move forward and put this behind us."
Braun had earlier railed against baseball's joint drug agreement, calling it "fatally flawed" and suggesting players are "100 percent guilty until proven innocent."
"We won because the truth is on my side," he said at the time.
"I wish that I hadn't done the press conference," Braun said Wednesday. "It was a big mistake. I deeply regret having done it, and a lot of the things that I said that day."
Braun has returned to Miller Park on a few occasions, personally called some Brewers season ticket holders and met with a local charity. Until Wednesday, he had not taken questions about the scandal.
"Because it was an ongoing investigation I wasn't allowed to say very much at that time," Braun said. "Basically based on what I had learned from both Major League Baseball and the players' association, it wasn't in anybody's best interest for me to make any statements at that time. It wasn't about waiting or anything like that. I've been here a few times but I think this is the first time that everybody's been aware that I'm here."
Last month Braun accepted a 65-game suspension resulting from baseball's investigation of the now-closed Biogenesis of America anti-aging clinic in South Florida, which was accused of providing banned substances to players. Braun was the first star to be suspended as part of the scandal.
Aside from again expressing regret -- he issued a statement of apology through the media in August -- Braun offered little Wednesday in the way of why he chose to use banned substances.
Asked why he lied, he said, "Obviously I've been through a lot, and as I expressed in my statement that I felt was pretty lengthy and specific, I got into a lot of details at that point. I'm not really going to go into any further details."
Asked if he had anything to say to commissioner Bud Selig, Braun replied, "I did. I wrote Bud a letter. But other than that, I'm not really going to get into too many specifics."
Braun made it clear that he hopes to remain in Milwaukee.
"Absolutely I want to stay here," Braun said. "I made the long-term commitment because the city has been amazing to me, the fans have been amazing to me, the organization has been incredibly supportive of me, and I fully intend to stay here. It's flattering that people would be interested. I actually had dinner with (general manager) Doug Melvin, (Brewers manager) Ron (Roenicke) and Mark Attanasio this week. I've seen Mark a lot, and I don't think there's any truth to those rumors. My goal and attention is to say here."
Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.
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