Ryan Braun stands on previous statement about drug clinic

Phoenix - Ryan Braun reported to the Brewers' spring camp Friday and made it clear immediately that he would answer no questions about the report linking him to a Miami clinic alleged to have provided performance-enhancing drugs to baseball players.

"I'm excited to be back out here for spring training; certainly looking forward to the World Baseball Classic," Braun said in opening comments to a group of reporters. "I'm obviously excited and focused on our upcoming Brewers season.

"I understand why a lot of you guys are probably here but I made a statement last week. I stand behind that statement. I'm not going to address that issue any further. As I stated, I'm happy to cooperate fully with any investigation into this matter. I respect the fact that all of you guys have a job to do. Part of that job includes asking me questions. I'm happy to answer any and all questions about baseball, spring training, the World Baseball Classic or anything else."

A Yahoo Sports report last week revealed that Braun's name was listed three times in the ledgers of the now-shuttered Biogenesis clinic under operator Tony Bosch. Unlike previous players named, including Alex Rodriguez, there were no PEDs listed next to Braun's name. There was the dennotation "20 K - 30 K" which supposedly meant Braun owed $20,000 to $30,000 to Bosch.

Braun quickly issued an explanation for his name being in the logs of that controversial clinic. He said his attorneys used Bosch as a consultant while preparing their defense of his positive drug test the previous year. Braun tested positive for a high level of testosterone but appealed that finding and had a looming 50-game suspension overturned by arbitrator Shyam Das over irregularities in the shipping of his urine sample.

Braun said there was a dispute over the payment to Bosch and thus the $20,000 to $30,000 listing in "moneys owed" to Bosch. He said he had nothing to hide and would cooperate fully with any investigation being conducted by MLB. That investigation is ongoing and Braun's representatives declined a request by the Journal Sentinel to provide corroboration of the consulting relationship with Braun.

Braun obviously was not going to provide any additional information so it is up to the Major League Baseball investigation to determine if Braun's explanation was complete.

Braun was asked about the support of manager Ron Roenicke, who told reporters two days ago that he didn't think the report should have targeted Braun without evidence of why his name was in the clinic's logs.

"Absolutely, I appreciate everybody's support," said Braun. "In life, when you deal with challenges, you see who supports you and who has your back. He certainly has been extremely supportive and for that I am very thankful."

Braun was asked about following up his tumultous winter of 2011 with another huge season in 2012 despite being under scrutiny to see how he would perform.
"In baseball, you deal with adversity; in life you deal with adversity," he said. "I've always said through adversity you determine someone's character. It's really easy to do well when things are going well. When you deal with adversity, that's when you see what you're made of. You see what your character is.

"I try to stay focused on the task at hand. Ultimately, my job is to be the best baseball player I can be, help my team try to win games. That's what I did last year and that's what I will continue to do."

Asked about the satisfaction he had to produce another big season, Braun said, "Certainly, it was challenging for sure. But the goal every year is to be productive. I've always said the challenge in this game is consistency and longevity. So the goal is to be as good as possible every year.
"Certainly, last year I dealt with some added challenges and adversity. So, it was rewarding for sure."

Braun heard much booing on the road last year from fans not willing to give him the benefit of the doubt after his drug appeal and I asked him if he expected it to be any different this year.

"I don't think about those things," he said. "I don't think about things that are out of my control. I only focus on the things I have control of."

Braun was asked one follow-up question about PEDs. He was asked about MLB expanding its testing for human growth hormone to include the regular season after previously doing so only once during spring training.

"I've always been supportive of the system," said Braun. "I've always been supportive of additional drug testing or whatever testing they have that's available."

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