Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun during his appeal of a drug suspension in 2012 told players on opposing teams that the collector of his urine sample was an anti-Semite.
Braun, the son of an Israeli-born Jewish father, was suspended in July for the remainder of this season for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement for his connection to the Biogenesis clinic, which provided performance-enhancing drugs to more than a dozen players.
The 2011 Most Valuable Player had been suspended in 2012 for using performance-enhancing drugs, but successfully appealed the 50-game ban and denied he ever used PEDs.
Braun called at least three veteran players to lobby for their support ahead of his appeal of the 2012 suspension, ESPN reported.
He won the appeal after proving that the specimen collector, identified as Dino Laurenzi Jr., broke the chain of custody of the sample by storing it in his refrigerator and not sending it out for 44 hours.
According to ESPN, Braun in his calls to the players also said Laurenzi was a Chicago Cubs fan, a division rival of the Brewers, implying that the sample collector would be working against Braun.
Braun has been referred to as “The Hebrew Hammer.” His mother, Diane, a Catholic, has said, “He’s totally not Jewish.”
“I heard some organization started calling him ‘The Hebrew Hammer.’ I said, ‘Oh no.’ My mother would be rolling over in her grave if she heard that.”