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Nike becomes latest to end endorsement deal with Ryan Braun

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

Ryan Braun won't be wearing Nike batting gloves when he returns in 2014.
Ryan Braun won't be wearing Nike batting gloves when he returns in 2014. (USATSI)

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Following his 65-game suspension for performance-enhancing drug use, Nike has terminated their relationship with Brewers slugger Ryan Braun according to ESPN's Darren Rovell. A spokesperson for the world's largest shoe and apparel maker confirmed it has cut ties with the 2011 NL MVP.

Braun, 29, had been wearing Nike cleats and batting gloves since the start of his seven-year MLB career. The company recently started selling "Big Bat Like Braun" and "Braun Owns Milwaukee" t-shirts as well. Nike has dropped cyclist Lance Armstrong and track coach Trevor Graham following PED-related offenses over the last few years.

Since being first connected to banned substances following the 2011 season, Braun has lost endorsement deals with Muscle Milk, Wilson Sporting Goods and Kwik Trip. The value of Braun's partnership with Nike is unknown, but it was surely lucrative. Almost certainly worth millions.

Although he forfeited approximately $3.5 million in salary by accepting the suspension, Braun is still under contract with the Brewers for $117 million through 2020.

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