Blog Entry

Braun comes out swinging, claims his innocence

Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:35 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2012 5:26 pm

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun came out swinging against the Major League Baseball drug testing process, the sample collector and the media in his first public statements since his positive drug test on October.

"I can only answer for myself," Braun said. "The program, as it applied to me, was fatally flawed. I've certainly been frustrated by the process. I've felt it's been unfair.

"Are there changes that should be made? I believe yes."

Major League Baseball executive vice president for labor relations Rob Manfred issued a statement disputing Braun's assertion.

“Our program is not ‘fatally flawed,’" Manfred said. "Changes will be made promptly to clarify the instructions provided to collectors regarding when samples should be delivered to FedEx based on the arbitrator’s decision. Neither Mr. Braun nor the MLBPA contended in the grievance that his sample had been tampered with or produced any evidence of tampering.”

Braun wins appeal
Braun did detail, however, not only when he was tested, but also casted doubt on the sample collector, noting there were 18 Federal Express offices were open until 9 p.m. in Milwaukee and even one 24-hour FedEx office. He said he was tested after a 1 p.m. game that ended at 4:15. Braun laid out his defense like a lawyer making his closing statement.

"At the end of the day the truth prevailed," he said. "I'm a victim of a process that completely broke down and failed in the way that it was applied to me in the case. As players, we're held to a standard of 100 percent perfection regarding the program, and everybody else associated with that program should be held to the same standard. We're a part of a process where you're 100 percent guilty until proven innocent. It's the opposite of the American judicial system.

In fact, Braun said he's considering legal action, citing possible legal action as a reason for not naming the sample collector.

He also shot down a rumor that he'd been treated for sexually transmitted disease, noting he'd never had an STD.

Braun came out swinging, said his performance had been measured -- that he didn't add a pound, he didn't become any faster. He also noted he already has a nine-year, guaranteed contract.

"I'd bet my life that this substance never entered my body," Braun said.

He also said he was unhappy that the test became public and that he has an idea how the news of his positive test leaked. ESPN reported his positive test -- which was supposed to remain confidential until the appeal was heard -- in December.

"I tried to handle the entire situation with honor, with integrity, with class, with dignity and with professionalism because that's who I am and that's how I've always lived my life," he said. "If I had done this intentionally or unintentionally, I'd be the first one to step up and I say I did it. By no means am I perfect, but if I've ever made any mistakes in my life, I've taken responsibility for my actions. I truly believe in my heart and I would bet my life that the substance never entered my body at any point."

MLB contends the leak didn't come from their end.

“With regards to the breach of confidentiality regarding this case, both the Commissioner’s Office and the MLBPA have investigated the original leak of Ryan Braun’s test, and we are convinced that the leak did not come from the Commissioner’s Office," Manfred said in a statement.

The MLB Players Association agrees.

“Our Joint Drug Program stands as strong, as accurate and as reliable as any in sport, both before and after the Braun decision," said MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner in a statement. "The breach of confidentiality associated with this matter is unfortunate but, after investigation, we are confident that it was not caused by the Commissioner’s Office, the MLBPA or anyone associated in any way with the Program. In all other respects, the appeals process worked as designed; the matter was vigorously contested and the independent and neutral arbitrator issued a decision deserving of respect by both bargaining parties."

Braun was asked about how his reputation would suffer, even after his successful appeal.

"I'm not dumb enough to pretend this is going to go away," Braun said. "I'm going to deal with this for a while. It's going to be a challenge."

"My name has been dragged through the mud as everything I've ever worked for in my life has been called into question."

Braun, who won the NL MVP after hitting .332/.397/.597 with 33 homers, 109 runs and 111 RBIs last year, is the first Major League Baseball player to have his suspension lifted by an arbitrator for a drug-related penalty. Arbitrator Shyam Das threw out Braun's ban on Thursday. Das, who has been baseball's independent arbitrator since 2000, informed the sides of his decision but did not give them a written opinion. He has 30 days to do so.

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Since: Feb 23, 2012
Posted on: February 27, 2012 2:31 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Feb 24, 2012
Posted on: February 26, 2012 11:28 pm

Braun comes out swinging, claims his innocence

I believe that Ryan Braun juiced. It's just that since he's 6'1", 200 lbs, and looks like a soccer player with his shirt off, I also believe he wasn't sure how they worked. So let's just agree that he learned his lesson with ultimately no harm done. (Unless of course he does figure out how steroids work and starts showing a boost in his power for the first time in his career.)

Since: Mar 18, 2009
Posted on: February 26, 2012 7:03 pm


Nice, CBS... There is no reason whatsoever why my post of (February 25, 2012 7:59 am) should have been removed.  I provided insight and thoughtful comments regarding those which were racially full of sparks, and I get my comments removed?????  CBS is getting more and more ridiculous by the day.  I would like an explanation and that very post reinstated.

Since: Feb 23, 2012
Posted on: February 26, 2012 4:22 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Nov 18, 2006
Posted on: February 25, 2012 11:41 pm

Braun comes out swinging, claims his innocence

He didn't need to prove the test was tainted. In fact, that's the whole point.

If I get a speeding ticket written by a police office who had already been removed from the force, I don't need to prove I wasn't speeding.

The real question is why is MLB sticking to its assertion when the sample was clearly mishandled? 

Since: Dec 25, 2007
Posted on: February 25, 2012 4:50 pm

Braun comes out swinging, claims his innocence

Before 2011 Braun Averaged 32 HR's, 105 RBI's and 177 hits a year. In 2011 he hit 33 HR's, 111 RBI's and had 187 hits. His numbers are consistent his entire MLB career. Braun was tested 25 times in his 5 years. Do you actually believe that he would "JUICE UP" before a playoff series? Or that he has been "JUICING" his entire career and was "CARELESS" enough to get caught before a playoff series/game?

Shyam Dos does not give the MLB his vote for one time in over 10 years and now he is paid off by Brauns camp or maybe even Bud Seilg himself...LOL... You people are kidding right?

How about the urine collector did not follow the guidelines agreed upon by the MLB and Players union. Because of that why would Braun say anything more than he has to? To satisfy a bunch of people who would not believe him no matter what he said?

Brauns goal was to get the 50 games dropped, not make the general public who knows next to NOTHING about this situation happy. Wait for Dos to release his report and then it is quite possible you will understand why he voted the way he did. Well that is if the Braun haters have reading comprehension skills.

So do you people really hate Braun or hate the fact that your HERO MLB players have been busted and suspended? Or is it that you know the joy you had while watching them set MLB records was fake? And now you want others to feel that same shame?

Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: February 25, 2012 4:12 pm

Braun comes out swinging, claims his innocence

I had a chance to speak with him at some length a few years back and was impressed.

Exactly - which shows that you have a biased view.  People of good character make mistakes, nobody's perfect....  just because Braun is a good guy doesn't mean he's incapable of using PEDs.  Unfortunatly, you view him in a different light whereas the vast majority of people without any affiliation with the man see him as getting away on a technicality.  The only people w/out bias that give him the benefit of the doubt are the conspiracy theorists of the world waiting for the government to admit they were behind the JFK assasination.

Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: February 25, 2012 4:06 pm

Braun comes out swinging, claims his innocence

The delivery process was so flawed we can't be sure it was even his urine.  If you don't see that then you have issues, nobody else.
You're right - the sample collector took his urine home, through it in a bin full of other urine samples, where the ID# on the sample became a little faded, then he wrote it back in with blue ink even though it was originally in black ink.

There's no big conspiracy here...  this isn't Barry Bonds, this is Ryan Braun.  Nobody dislikes this guy, not even people that hate the Brewers organization dislike Braun. 

And there is a way to prove it's his urine, do the DNA testing that he backed off of....


Since: May 14, 2007
Posted on: February 25, 2012 3:24 pm

Braun comes out swinging, claims his innocence

Hey Sports2cents, your's is the comments not worth 2 cents. To call me an idiot directly for saying I believe in Braun's character tells me of your character. You have no clue, period. It is not like I met the guy and said hello and moved on; I had a chance to speak with him at some length a few years back and was impressed. Sorry if you have no faith in anyone who has been successful; you must be part of the Occupy Wall Street Clan.

Since: Jul 23, 2011
Posted on: February 25, 2012 3:24 pm

Braun comes out swinging, claims his innocence

Braun won on a technicality, although having heard how the rule reads concerning chain of custody I'm not quite sure why the technicality held up unless the guy was just lazy and did not make an effort to ship the specimen. It has been reported that Braun was 4 to 5 times over the max for what is considered the norm. If memory serves, initially Braun was coming up with some excuse for why he tested high, it was all very innocent. Then he became quiet. Then he won on a technicality and is now proclaiming that the good guys won and he is vindicated. Good legal counsel is priceless.

Whether right or wrong, I will always believe Braun was taking something that he should not have been. Did it help him have an MVP year? Maybe. Or he might have done as well without. I will say that I find it odd that a Milwaukee player wins an appeal. Where's the commissioner from? What team did he own? I'm sure it's a coincidence and if Braun truly is an innocent man then it is too bad he somehow got sucked in. But chain of custody? Who wants to mess up his test? It doesn't really make sense. I've always liked Ryan Braun and will continue to do so but I like him despite his use of PEDs. I think he took them.

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