Ryan Braun Wins Appeal of Positive Drug Test, Avoids Suspension
Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun has been informed along with the Associated Press that he has won his appeal to overturn a positive drug test, and will avoid a 50 game suspension. Braun is the first player in Major League history to have a positive drug test overturned. The decision comes after five weeks of deliberation in the court hearing.
Major League Baseball is reportedly upset with the decision of neutral arbitrator Shyam Das. They released the following in a statement:
“As a part of our drug testing program, the Commissioner’s Office and the Players Association agreed to a neutral third party review for instances that are under dispute. While we have always respected that process, Major League Baseball vehemently disagrees with the decision rendered today by arbitrator Shyam Das.”
Braun appealed the positive test that took place in early October, at the outset of the playoffs. His hearing before a three-man arbitration panel was held in New York on Jan. 19-20, when noted attorney David Cornwell presented his case against the test result and suspension. Braun won the appeal 2-1, with the MLBPA and the arbitrator in his favor with, obviously, the MLB against it.
An official with knowledge of the situation said the test was overturned primarily on evidence that something went wrong with the test. Sounds EXACTLY like what Plushdamentals reported last week. A source exclusively told me that the test was mishandled and sent in later than it should have been. Read that article here.
Braun is expected to report to Brewers Spring Training facilities in Maryvale, Arizona on Friday. The announcement comes right at a time when Braun and the Brewers would be faced with their toughest media situation in team history. Now that the cloud of doubt and suspicion are gone and Braun’s image has been restored, the team can resume baseball activities without anxiety.
ESPN’s Outside The Lines reported in December that Braun tested positive for a performance enhancing drug at the outset of the Playoffs, which was reportedly synthetic testosterone. From the beginning, Braun denied any allegations, telling the Journal Sentinel that the report was “BS”. The test reportedly contained “insanely high” levels of testosterone, far above any test ever before.
Not only does Braun retain his reputation of one of the game’s elite, but the Brewers avoid a huge blow by avoiding a 50 game suspension to the reigning National League MVP. After losing Prince Fielder to the Detroit Tigers, suffering without Braun could have been excrutiating.
More to come.
I think there will be still nagging voices that Braun will always have to deal with. He will always have to deal with the issue that although the chain of custody was broken with the delivery of the sample, the seal was not broken when the sample reached the lab as well as the fact that the sample contained synthetic testosterone. I hope that he can continue to have a positive career and put this behind him.
Twins Notes – http://twinsnotes.mlblogs.com