Ryan Braun, who was named the 2011 NL MVP, slugged a career-high 41 home runs last season with the Brewers. / Benny Sieu, USA TODAY Sports
Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun acknowledged a relationship with a South Florida clinic tied to performance-enhancing drugs, but said he consulted with Anthony Bosch only as it concerned the appeal of a positive drug test.
Braun was the National League's most valuable player in 2011, but tested positive for testosterone in the postseason. He avoided a 50-game suspension by appealing the chain of custody.
Yahoo Sports reported earlier Tuesday that Braun's name appeared in logs from Biogenesis, a clinic under scrutiny for allegedly supplying performance-enhancing drugs to athletes.
In a statement first released to USA TODAY Sports, Braun said he will welcome any investigation into his relationship with Bosch.
"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 what my lawyer and I 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."
Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball's executive vice president of labor relations, did not respond specifically to the Yahoo report, but told USA TODAY Sports: "We will investigate all names linked to the use of PEDs."
The Yahoo report cites a document previously obtained by
Miami New Times
in its investigation of Biogenesis. The document lists Alex Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera and Cesar Carrillo, whose names appeared elsewhere in the documents in reference to performance-enhancing substances.
However, unlike Rodriguez and others mentioned in the New Times report, Braun's name does not appear next to a specific performance-enhancing drug. Similarly, Baltimore Orioles third baseman Danny Valencia and New York Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli's names appear on the same log as Braun's.
In a statement released to Yahoo, David Cornwall, the lead attorney in Braun's successful appeal of his positive drug test, said he was "not familiar with Tony Bosch prior to Ryan Braun's case." Cornwall has represented several prominent NFL players in their appeals of positive drug tests and said he typically relies on Nashville-based Aegis Sciences Corporation "with respect to scientific and other matters relevant to the testing of player specimens."
"Bosch was introduced to me at the earliest stage of Ryan's case," Cornwall said. "I found Bosch's value to be negligible and, thereafter, I followed my prior practice of relying on Aegis in the preparation of Ryan's winning defense."
Cervelli tweeted an explanation late Tuesday night, saying that after a foot injury in March 2011, " I consulted with a number of experts, including Biogenesis clinic, for legal ways to aid my rehab and recovery. I purchased supplements that I am certain were not prohibited by Major League Baseball."
Valencia, who signed a minor league contract with the Orioles this offseason, also released a statement Tuesday:
"As any innocent person would be, I am shocked and troubled that my name is in any way connected to this story," Valencia said. "I have never met or spoken to anyone connected with Biogenesis, in fact I had never even heard of this company prior to the New Times' story.
"I take tremendous pride in the hard work and dedication I put into being a professional baseball player and have never taken PEDs or failed a drug test of any kind during my career. I look forward to fully cooperating in MLB's investigation in any way that I can, and will explore taking legal action if this issue is not resolved in a timely fashion."
Wednesday, the New York Daily News reported the name of another player, Seattle Mariners designated hitter Jesus Montero, appears in the logs in a fashion similar to Braun, Cervelli and Valencia.
Braun, Valencia, Cesar Carrillo and Yasmani Grandal, who also was listed in the New Times report, all attended the University of Miami, located near the now-closed Biogenesis clinic.
Yahoo's report said Chris Lyons, one of Braun's attorneys during the appeal of his drug test, was mentioned on multiple occasions in the document.
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