Players deplore doping rather than defend users

NEW YORK (AP) - Protective no more, baseball players are downright disgusted these days with doping.

Now they are demanding even stiffer suspensions for those caught cheating.

“It’s a new generation of athletes that are standing up,” Travis Tygart, chief executive of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, said Tuesday. “The culture’s been flipped on its head.”

When Ryan Braun accepted a season-ending 65-game suspension Monday rather than fight Major League Baseball over evidence he used performance-enhancing drugs, fellow players appeared tired of those who cast shadows on the sport.

“They’re lying to the fans,” Los Angeles Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson said. “They’re lying to their teammates. They’re lying to their GMs, their owners, and they’re going to get caught.”

Skip Schumaker of the Los Angeles Dodgers said Braun, the 2011 NL MVP for the Milwaukee Brewers, let him down.

“Watching him talk right now makes me sick,” Schumaker said. “I have an autographed Braun jersey in my baseball room that I’ll be taking down. I don’t want my son identifying what I’ve worked so hard to get to and work so hard to have _ I don’t want him comparing Braun to me.”

Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who finished second to Braun in the 2011 MVP vote, said the Milwaukee slugger should be stripped of the honor.

“We had conversations, and I considered him a friend,” Kemp said. “I don’t think anybody likes to be lied to, and I feel like a lot of people have felt betrayed.”

Braun tested positive for elevated testosterone in October 2011 but successfully overturned a 50-game penalty when an arbitrator ruled the outfielder’s urine sample was handled improperly. Braun loudly proclaimed his innocence then.

“I thought this whole thing has been despicable on his part,” Detroit pitcher Max Scherzer said. “When he did get caught, he never came clean. He tried to question the ability of the collector when he was caught red-handed. So that’s why the whole Braun situation, there is so much player outrage toward him.”

Arizona pitcher Brad Ziegler remembered back to the 2011 NL division series, when the Brewers beat the Diamondbacks 3-2 in a best-of-five playoff as Braun went 9 for 18 with a home run and four RBIs.

“Obviously it affected the series, because that’s right when the positive test occurred. That’s when it was highest in his system, and he torched us that series,” Ziegler said. “We can’t put it all on that. Looking back on it, we walked away from that series knowing we should have won it before we heard he tested positive. At least he didn’t get away with it now.”

New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Braun was guilty.

“You don’t accept a deal unless you’re guilty,” he said.

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