After successfully appealing a suspension for a failed drug test during the 2011 playoffs, Ryan Braun held a press conference in which he gave a defiant holier-than-thou speech in which he denied he ever took performance-enhancing drugs and pointed the finger at everybody but himself.
The speech, which can be seen below, was praised by some for convincing people that maybe Braun was indeed the victim in the case of either sloppy work or possibly even a malicious conspiracy.
But now that Braun is linked to the Biogenesis clinic and again facing suspension, his comments on that day sound a lot different. Looking back, Braun looks a lot less like the victim and more like the cheater that other players want out of the game.
Rather than just being happy that he won his appeal on what most considered a technicality, Braun stood up at a podium and took his anger out on Major League Baseball and a drug test collector.
Here are some of the most telling quotes from Braun’s press conference in February, 2012.
Braun started with denials:
“If I had done this intentionally, or unintentionally, I’d be the first one to step up and say ‘I did it.’ By no means am I perfect, but if I have ever made any mistakes in my life, I have taken responsibility for my actions…I truly believe in my heart, and would bet my life that this substance never entered my body at any point.”
He then blamed others for tarnishing his name, and that he was putting the game ahead of himself:
“There were a lot of times when I wanted to come out and tell the entire story, to attack everybody as I’ve been attacked, as my name’s been dragged through the mud as everything I’ve worked for my entire life was called into question. There were a lot of times I wanted to come out, tell the entire story, but at the end of the day I recognised what’s actually best for the game of baseball and I put that ahead of what was actually best for myself.”
He claimed he was fighting for others that were wrongly accused:
“I’ve always stood up for what is right. Today is about everybody who’s been wrongly accused, and everybody who’s ever had to stand up for what is actually right…I will continue to take the high road because that’s who I am, and that’s the way that I’ve lived my life. We won because the truth is on my side.”
And wanted everybody to know that he was the victim:
“I am a victim of a process that completely broke down and failed the way it was applied to me in this case.”
But instead of taking the high road, he then suggested that the test collector was up to no good and wondered aloud if somebody was framing him:
“What could have possibly happened to it during that 44-hour period (before the collector took the urine sample to FedEx)? There were a lot of things that we learned about the collector, about the collection process, about the way that the entire thing worked that made us very concerned and very suspicious about what could have actually happened…We spoke to biochemists and scientists and we asked them, ‘How difficult would it be to tamper with somebody’s sample?’ And their response was that, ‘If they were motivated, it would be extremely easy.'”
If the latest allegations turn out to be true and Braun does not win his appeal again, this act of defiance will define Braun’s career and ruin any reputation he still has left in the sport.
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