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Ex-Braves GM Coppolella issues apology

Former exec releases first statement since being put on permanently inactive list
MLB.com

ATLANTA -- Former Braves general manager John Coppolella issued a contrite statement on Tuesday, as he commented publicly for the first time since being placed on Major League Baseball's permanently ineligible list.

Coppolella was forced to resign on Oct. 2 in the midst of an investigation into the circumvention of international signing rules and improprieties dealing with the MLB Draft. On Nov. 21, it was announced the Braves had to forfeit 12 international prospects, a third-round selection in the 2018 MLB Draft and cease contact with two other international prospects who had not yet been signed.

ATLANTA -- Former Braves general manager John Coppolella issued a contrite statement on Tuesday, as he commented publicly for the first time since being placed on Major League Baseball's permanently ineligible list.

Coppolella was forced to resign on Oct. 2 in the midst of an investigation into the circumvention of international signing rules and improprieties dealing with the MLB Draft. On Nov. 21, it was announced the Braves had to forfeit 12 international prospects, a third-round selection in the 2018 MLB Draft and cease contact with two other international prospects who had not yet been signed.

The statement reads as follows:

"To this point, I have not commented about my departure from the Atlanta Braves. I have been hesitant to speak publicly, as my family and I have been devastated and embarrassed by the repercussions of my actions. I realize now that I need to address what happened and speak to those affected. To everyone who supports the Atlanta Braves and to everyone who loves the game of baseball, I am deeply sorry.

Throughout my 20-year baseball career, my singular focus has been to help make my team more successful. I am heartbroken that in this case my conduct has done the opposite for the Atlanta Braves organization. I accept full responsibility for my actions.

To those in the baseball industry, including employees of the Braves and other organizations, who feel I was in any way disrespectful or dishonest, I apologize. To the Commissioner's Office, who spent many extra hours dealing with such an unfortunate situation, please accept my apology. To the Braves fans and to those in the front office who supported me throughout my time as general manager, please know that I understand and accept your anger and frustration. To my family, who has stood by my side throughout this entire ordeal, I love you so much and I am sorry for the pain my actions have caused you.

I have learned the lesson of a lifetime, as my mistakes have cost me my dream job and my future in the game that I love. I hope that other people, regardless of their profession, use this as a cautionary tale when making their own business decisions. I have been disgraced and humbled, and I will strive for the rest of my life to live honorably so that this is not my defining moment."

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Atlanta Braves, Matt Bowman