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The Blurring Line: Ryan Braun and the Future Ethics of PEDs

Another baseball star is associated with the Miami clinic under investigation for providing PEDs

Jonathan Ferrey

From Tim Brown and Jeff Passan:

Braun is on a list that includes Alex Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera and Cesar Carrillo, who the New Times reported received PEDs from Bosch. Also on the list are New York Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli and Baltimore Orioles third baseman Danny Valencia, who weren't listed near PEDs either. The record matches a document the New Times posted with Braun's name redacted and Cervelli and Valencia's cut off.


At least two other documents in the trove given to the New Times by a former Biogenesis employee mention Braun. In one, his name is on a line, with "RB 20-30K" on the next. Bosch listed the amount of money owed by other players in similar notation, though the numbers were usually lower.

Braun failed a PED test in 2011, but the positive test was thrown out after an arbitrator ruled that the chain of custody of the sample was compromised. Braun attended college at the University of Miami.

In a related story, MLB is going to do its own investigation into the clinic, and possibly suspend players based on the evidence uncovered by the Miami New Times:

MIAMI (AP) -- Major League Baseball officials have asked the Miami New Times for records the alternative newspaper obtained for a story on alleged use of banned substances by several players.

New Times editor Chuck Strouse said Tuesday the paper had not yet decided how to respond. Strouse described the MLB move as a request only and noted that the league does not have a law enforcement agency's subpoena power.

Thus far no Cleveland major-league or minor-league players have been implicated.

The baseball community has been debating the use of performance-enhancing drugs via the Hall of Fame voting over the winter, and this new revelation only fans the flames of that fire.

The Miami Herald's Dan LeBatard had a very interesting take on the recent PED scandals, comparing the legal ways of getting back on the field with the illegal ones:

It is a symbol of echoing strength in the gladiator arena for legend Ronnie Lott to demand his pinkie finger be cut off during a football game so he could keep playing. But it is a Super Bowl "scandal" for Lewis to rush back to punctuate a 17-year career by maybe - maybe! - using a deer antler spray any of us can buy at a local supplement store to speed healing. The judgments we rain down upon these athlete-entertainers are filled with selective moralities, but you'll have a hard time finding an inconsistency more absurd than that one, though modern medicine keeps giving us more from which to choose.

Read more here:

With the first generation of performance enhancing drugs, the substances gave users an advantage over their peers but also had deadly side effects. I'm not an expert on the long-term effects of the latest generation of PEDs, but what if they have no adverse side effects? That's an ethical dilemma that not only baseball but all athletics will have to grapple with. When you read what players like the Dolphins' Jason Taylor went through to play football, the line between help and harm really starts to blur.