Whereas baseball took a public relations hit for past steroid scandals, Adam Dunn thinks the sport’s policing of itself has reduced its burden.
With the testing policy in place between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players’ Association, Dunn said Tuesday he believes any negatives are now solely attached to the player in question.
On Monday, Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun was suspended for the remainder of the season for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal. Braun is one of 20 players allegedly involved in the scandal who could be suspended by MLB. Other big names include Alex Rodriguez, Bartolo Colon and Nelson Cruz.
Even though the scandal could involve those 20 players, Dunn sees it as more proof the system has improved.
“When all this was first happening I think it was an embarrassment on the league,” Dunn said. “Now I don’t think it’s an embarrassment. The Players’ Association and the league are catching people and doing what they set out to do. If you cheat, you’re going to get caught. I think the embarrassment lies with the player. I can’t imagine. I don’t think I’d leave my house.”
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Dunn knows Braun pretty well.
He said he’s caught off guard as to why Braun, who had a previous suspension overturned on a technicality, would risk everything.
Last week, MLB commissioner Bud Selig said more than 16,000 tests had been administered throughout professional baseball, including 4,200 in the majors. Dunn has been tested three or four times this season and knows a few more will be administered.
“I’ve known Brauny a long time, but how dumb can you be?” Dunn said. “It’s a shame because he’s one of the best out there. … I don’t know. It must be some really cool stuff apparently to risk your whole, everything. I don’t get it.”
Some players have suggested Braun’s suspension isn’t strong enough. Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Skip Schumaker suggested a lifetime ban for players who are caught for the first time.
But Dunn believes the punishment Braun has received is strong enough.
“You’re missing significant time and significant pay and plus your name is smeared all over everywhere,” Dunn said. “I don’t know how much worse it could be.”