Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 8/22/13

Ryan Braun has finally spoken. After weeks of silence, the disgraced Brewers outfielder released a statement explaining his acceptance of a 65-game suspension from Major League Baseball. In the statement, Braun accepted responsibility and apologized for his actions, and said he has “no one to blame but myself.” “I have disappointed the people closest to me — the ones who fought for me because they truly believed me all along,” Braun said in the statement. “I kept the truth from everyone.  For a long time, I was in denial and convinced myself that I had not done anything wrong.” Braun broke down exactly what happened during the end of the 2011 season when he decided to use performance-enhancing drugs that violated the league’s Joint Drug Treatment and Prevention Program. Braun said he had been dealing with a nagging injury and turned to an unapproved cream and lozenge to help recover from the injury faster. Braun eventually tested positive for the banned substances, but vehemently denied any wrongdoing on multiple occasions, including during a press conference in February 2012. “I deeply regret many of the things I said at the press conference after the arbitrator’s decision in February 2012. At that time, I still didn’t want to believe that I had used a banned substance. I think a combination of feeling self righteous and having a lot of unjustified anger led me to react the way I did. I felt wronged and attacked, but looking back now, I was the one who was wrong. “I love the great game of baseball and I am very sorry for any damage done to the game. I have privately expressed my apologies to commissioner [Bud] Selig and Rob Manfred of MLB and to Michael Weiner and his staff at the Players’ Association. I’m very grateful for the support I’ve received from them. I sincerely apologize to everybody involved in the arbitration process, including the collector, Dino Laurenzi, Jr. I feel terrible that I put my teammates in a position where they were asked some very difficult and uncomfortable questions. One of my primary goals is to make amends with them.” Braun acknowledged that he is facing an uphill battle to win back the trust and support of fans, but said that he is dedicated to making amends with his teammates, fans, the Brewers’ organization, his sponsors, advisors and from Major League Baseball. Filed under: Alison Smith, Headlines, MLB

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