Blog Entry

Braun wins appeal, won't be suspended

Posted on: February 23, 2012 5:12 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2012 9:44 pm

By Matt Snyder

Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun has won his appeal and will not serve a suspension for a positive drug test late last season,'s Jon Heyman has confirmed. The news was first reported by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. This means arbitrator Shyam Das ruled Braun was not guilty in his failed test -- which showed elevated testosterone levels.

The appeal was held in front of Major League Baseball, the MLB Players Association and Das, a third-party arbitrator. The chain of custody of the sample is where Braun won the appeal. His side argued it was improperly handled and there must have been enough evidence to convince Das.

The sample in question was collected on Oct. 1, a Saturday and the day the Brewers opened the NL playoffs. The collector did not send the sample to the laboratory until Monday, thinking it would be more secure at home than at a Federal Express office during the weekend. Baseball's drug agreement states that "absent unusual circumstances, the specimens should be sent by FedEx to the laboratory on the same day they are collected."

Major League Baseball, for one, is not happy. Here's the statement released by MLB executive vice president for labor relations Rob Manfred:

Braun wins appeal
“Major League Baseball considers the obligations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program essential to the integrity of our game, our Clubs and all of the players who take the field. It has always been Major League Baseball’s position that no matter who tests positive, we will exhaust all avenues in pursuit of the appropriate discipline. We have been true to that position in every instance, because baseball fans deserve nothing less.

“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.”

Travis Tygart, chief executive officer of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, called the decision "a real gut-kick to clean athletes."

Das has been baseball's independent arbitrator since 2000 and this is the first successful drug test-related appeal.

Positive tests for performance-enhancing drugs have been relatively rare under the major league testing program, with just two others in 2011: Tampa Bay outfielder Manny Ramirez and Colorado Rockies catcher Eliezer Alfonzo. Ramirez at first retired rather than face a 100-game suspension for a second positive test. Now that he wants to play again and since he missed most of last year, he will only need to serve a 50-game penalty.

Braun has maintained his innocence since word of his positive test leaked after the Winter Meetings. Sources told's Danny Knobler that when Braun found out he had tested positive for a banned substance he requested a second test, which came up negative. Braun then appealed the first failed test, and the results were supposed to stay confidential, but an ESPN report outed Braun's test on December 10 and the story has been lingering since then.

Braun, 28, won the NL MVP in 2011 when he hit .332/.397/.597 with 33 homers, 111 RBI and 109 runs for the NL Central-winning Brewers. He will join his teammates in Brewers camp Friday, as scheduled.

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Since: Mar 5, 2008
Posted on: February 28, 2012 2:13 pm

Braun wins appeal, won't be suspended

Why are people so narrow minded? Can't anyone read between the lines and assertain that this isn't over? There are many facets to this case, as you all will find out in the future. What people fail to realize is the only thing Braun had to prove was a chain of custody issue and create reasonable doubt. This is how our justice system was built. It's part of democracy. Word has it that Braun's camp was prepared to defend him with alot of the information that people want to hear to truly exonerate him but it wasn't needed and the rest will play out over time. There is word of a criminal investigation behind the scenes. DNA testing is being done but was said to be shot down as part of this investigation. Not to mention the HIPAA ramifications and the lawsuits that are likely to follow. Ever heard of HIPAA? They are the federal privacy laws and those, along with MLB privacy laws, should have been enough to keep all the uninformed, idiot masses from knowing or commenting on anything. Oh, that's right... we are in the age of "Reality" where people want to know everything and then beat down people based on the little information they can get. To all the people who can't see their head from a hole in the ground... whether you like it or not you are part of these masses.    

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: February 25, 2012 3:02 pm

Braun wins appeal, won't be suspended

Wow look at all these haters.

 (1)Matt Kemp blah blah, Drew Brees had MVP numbers and lost to Arron Rodgers because Rodgers played on a team with a better record. I do not here Saints fans crying or Pats fans for that matter looking at Brady's numbers. (Patriot fans will cry about anything)

 (2) Baseball wanted Braun to be cleared.  Yeah, the statement they released sure sounded like MLB is overjoyed by this.
 We were not supposed to even know he failed the test until today so I guess it gave everybody a way to talk all winter over nothing. I am glad to see this go through for Ryan not only cause I'm a Brewers fan but because it goes to show MLB that there are problems with their testing program and maybe they will go out and fix them.

I know there are many other cynical responses to Braun's guilt and whatever the case maybe he was found innocent, even though 80% percent of the comments from day one said he was guilty

 I am glad to live in America where you're guilty until proven innocent and even then you're still guilty once you're found innocent.

Can we all just get passed this now and actually enjoy the season?

Since: Oct 8, 2011
Posted on: February 25, 2012 7:00 am

Braun wins appeal, won't be suspended

Fact: the collector has been doing his job for a very long time and is respected by both sides. He took the sample home so only he & his son had access to it. He is above reproach for tampering because MLB & the Union trust him. That leaves his son. I doubt very much his son has the expertice to tamper successfully with the sample. He would have to know exactly how much synthetic testosterone to add to make it appear legitimate!

Fact: the head of the World Anti-Doping Commission said on Outside the Lines that a sample sitting for a few days will not suddenly show hugely abnormal levels of testosterone and will not show ANY  synthetic testosterone! He said it made for an interesting story but has no basis in science of doping. He went on to say the samples from Olympians routinely sit for days in FedEx packages waiting for shipping and testing. All Braun did was give us another Rafael Palmerio "pointing the finger" moment that will one day come back to haunt him. 

Since: Oct 8, 2011
Posted on: February 25, 2012 6:43 am

Braun wins appeal, won't be suspended

I am amazed as I watched ESPN, seeing reporters, ex-players, and current players plus people like Aaron Rodgers proclaim that Braun has either been declared innocent or has proven his innocence when neither has occured. Braun got off on a technicality only. Anyone watching ESPN's Outside the Lines yesterday would have seen the doctor in charge of the World Anti-Doping Commission. He was much more convincing than Braun's impersonation of Raphael Palmerio: remember him emphatically pointing a Congress saying he NEVER used steroids only to later be shown the liar he was!?! Anyway, the doctor said that a sample sitting around for a couple of days would not have any effect whatsoever. He said samples for Olympians routinely sit for several days in FedEx packages waiting to be shipped. The doctor went on to say that while Braun & the press pushing this story makes great drama, it has little basis in science. He said the concern was the high level of testosterone and the fact that it was synthetic (produced in a lab). Braun's public relations ploy, that has so many gushing proclaiming his innocence, never ever addresses these important facts.

The only people that had access to this sample over that weekend was the collector that both MLB & the union trusted, plus his son. Braun indirectly accuses one of these 2 of tampering. I doubt very much the son would have the smarts to know just how much testosterone to add to make the sample look convincing. The reputation of the collector is respected by both sides so he is left out. That brings us right back to Braun! Despite his well-rehearsed Palmerio moment of "it wasn't me" plea, this sample has synthetic testosterone in it. His story is just as bogus as A Rod's "my cousin injected me with something" and he should be treated with the equal amount of scorn!

Since: Feb 24, 2012
Posted on: February 24, 2012 5:08 pm

Braun wins appeal, won't be suspended


Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: February 24, 2012 3:09 pm

Braun wins appeal, won't be suspended

Bizona I have said in the past that doctoring a baseball and altering a bat are actually worse offenses than taking HGH or steriods. In cases of spitballs, scuffing, sandpaper for a pitcher or hollowing out a bat for a batter has a direct effect on the performance of the game. PEDs do not have a direct effect but an indirect effect that may or may not increase your abilities. Scuffing a ball for instances always changes performance and hallowing abat always makes your bat speed quicker.

Also Bizona doctoring equipment to improve production is clearly in the rules. PEDs regardless of legally or illegally obtaining and using them were not at the time.

But with that said baseball knew all along of these transgressions.

Since: Sep 28, 2006
Posted on: February 24, 2012 3:03 pm

Braun wins appeal, won't be suspended

Wonder how much Bud Selig influenced the decision based on his ties to the Brewers.  This is BS!!!

Since: May 4, 2011
Posted on: February 24, 2012 2:30 pm

Braun wins appeal, won't be suspended

Rememer it's not a lie if you believe it's not.

-Ryan Braun

Since: Feb 21, 2012
Posted on: February 24, 2012 2:08 pm

Braun wins appeal, won't be suspended

Just because he won his appeal doesnt mean he is innocent.

Since: Oct 22, 2007
Posted on: February 24, 2012 2:07 pm

Braun wins appeal, won't be suspended

One thing that seems to me to be lost in all of these conversations is that PEDS whether HGH or steroids are not some sort of magic bean stalk beans

I agree with that statement, but then my next reaction is "So what?"

If I doctor a ball or throw a spitball, but the batter happens to make contact and hit it out of the park, does that mean I didn't cheat or break the rules? Of course not.

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