When Aaron Rodgers heard the report tying Milwaukee Brewers star and reigning National League MVP Ryan Braun to the use of a performing-enhancing substance, he immediately was incredulous.
Rodgers considers Braun one of his closest friends, even his best friend. Braun has publicly denied the test results and is disputing it through arbitration.
|Aaron Rodgers (left) and Ryan Braun own Wisconsin. (Jeffrey Phelps/Associated Press)|
And that's all Rodgers needs to know.
"I 100 percent support Ryan and believe in him and it's not going to affect our friendship in the least," Rodgers told Milwaukee's WAUK-AM on Wednesday. "I'm 100 percent supporting him and behind him and believe in everything that he says."
Rodgers said he has been with Braun in the Brewers' locker room and during workouts, and he never was given a reason to suspect anything.
"I don't know exactly all that's out there, but I just am trusting that my good friend has not been using anything illegal," Rodgers said. "And I'm very confident that's the case, because I know how much he cares about the integrity of the game and wouldn't do anything to jeopardize that."
Rodgers always has remained on the side of caution when it comes to what he puts in his body.
"There's only a few companies that have been cleared by the NFL," he said. "Anything other than that, I think, is silly to use. What little stuff I use as far as protein shakes is all stuff that's in our weight room (and) has been cleared by the NFL. Other than that, I really don't try anything else."
It remains to be seen if Braun's positive test was triggered by a company or product not cleared by Major League Baseball. Rodgers' "better safe than sorry" approach clearly is the way to go, especially when you realize how damaging the stigma of being labeled a drug cheat can be.