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August 23, 2013

Ryan Braun finally admits drug use in 2011

— Ryan Braun finally said it: He took performance-enhancing drugs.

A month after suddenly abandoning his claims of innocence and accepting a 65-game suspension from Major League Baseball, the Milwaukee Brewers slugger admitted he took a cream and a lozenge containing banned substances while rehabilitating an injury during his 2011 NL MVP season.

In a statement released by the Brewers on Thursday night, Braun took responsibility for his actions. He also apologized to many people, including the sample collector he castigated after an arbitrator overturned the outfielder's suspension from a 2011 positive test.

"I have no one to blame but myself. I know that over the last year and a half I made some serious mistakes, both in the information I failed to share during my arbitration hearing and the comments I made to the press afterwards," Braun said. "I have disappointed the people closest to me."

Still, his lengthy act of self-reproach was missing several key details. Among them: The five-time All-Star doesn't say who gave him the PEDs or where they came from; he doesn't reveal the banned substance in the products; he doesn't say if he knew the cream and lozenge were tainted at the time he took them.

For now, the apology will have to do.

"To me, it doesn't really matter what they say. Let's lay down the penalties and move on," San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

On July 22, Braun agreed to a suspension resulting from Major League Baseball's investigation of the now-closed Biogenesis of America anti-aging clinic, which was accused of providing banned substances to players.

At that time he acknowledged only that he made "mistakes," leaving people, including Brewers owner Mark Attanasio, wanting more.

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