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: Jun 25, 2010
Posted on: February 24, 2012 9:55 am

Braun wins appeal, won't be suspended

My first thought after reading this is... who takes home a guys urine sample for the weekend?! What a dope that "collector" must be. I have no affiliation with FedEx, but they are great at what they do. They transport and care for packages that contain all types of contents, including biomedical samples, and I am positive that they are better suited to caring for Braun's urine over the weekend than this "collector". On that information alone, MLB deserved to lose. My second thought is, that if only two guys have been found guilty of using performance enhancers, then either baseball is the cleanest professional sport on the planet - way cleaner than, say, cycling - or MLB has a very soft testing system.

b/t/w - to the person that thinks he could tell that Braun was a user by looking at his eyes, I guess then that Mike Singletary and Marty Feldman were two huge users - those guys had serious crazy eyes! Feldman must have needed to get juiced up for that big Young Frankenstein role. Dope.

Since: May 29, 2009
Posted on: February 24, 2012 9:55 am

Braun wins appeal, won't be suspended

Im not saying he's innocent or guilty because whether he is innocent or guilty still hasn't been proven.  There is no proof that Braun didn't fail the drug test or the result was a false positive.  His appeal was upheld due to technicalities in the way the sample was handled not because it was proven that he didnt take PEDs.

Since: Feb 23, 2012
Posted on: February 24, 2012 9:53 am
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Since: Oct 22, 2007
Posted on: February 24, 2012 9:50 am

Braun wins appeal, won't be suspended

Bizona, the arbitration panel consists of three people, one chosen by the MLBPA, one chosen by MLB, and one independent arbitrator (Das) who usually is the tie-breaker, since the union rep always votes for the player and the MLB rep always votes for MLB.

reds5fan, thanks for the explanation. That's pretty dumb. It's like having lawyers act as judges also. They should either have a panel of 3 independent arbitrators or just have one person make the decision.

Anyway, thanks again for explaining.

Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: February 24, 2012 9:48 am

Braun wins appeal, won't be suspended

So the pop-eyed muscle man beat the rap. Who says you can't fool some of the people all of the time?

Since: Dec 19, 2007
Posted on: February 24, 2012 9:46 am

Braun wins appeal, won't be suspended

Why would anyone really give a rat's ass whether he was juicing or not? Why would anyone care about steroids period. Congress investigating baseball for that crap, come on! Much bigger issues out there then whether or not a homerun was aided by steroids. Do the homeruns not go as far? Do the rbi's not still count for one run? Is 100 mph not still 100 mph or a strikeout a strikeout? It's not like steroids guarantees anything. You can't just shootup and BAM! --automatic homeruns,rbi's, strikeouts, speed, etc! They still have to workout, practice, train, and learn the game. MLB players have been on something since the beginning of time. Booze, speed, uppers, jellybeans, coke, crack, etc. Do their numbers get astericks? These guys are gonna do whatever it takes to earn a living, excel in their sport, get money , power, and respect---and i don't blame them one bit! Let's be honest here! Any one of us would do the same to get rich and famous or whatever does it for you. Just enjoy things for what they are , and quit annointing yourselves the judge, jury, and executioner!

Since: Jan 29, 2008
Posted on: February 24, 2012 9:45 am

Braun wins appeal, won't be suspended

He didn't offer his DNA to test for steroids, he offered it to compare to the sample that came back dirty to prove that wasn't his urine.

Since: Aug 29, 2009
Posted on: February 24, 2012 9:41 am

Braun wins appeal, won't be suspended

These days anyone who tests positive seems to loose any chance of  "Hall of Fame" recognition.
These days most sports officials would like their opinions on "cheating matters" to be the final and only word I.E. the NFL.
I feel that there shouldn't be any "reasonable doubt" when major sports establishments test.

I'm glad that there was due process and believe the real proof will be Braun's performance over the next 2-3 years.

J.M. Pittsburgh

Since: Feb 23, 2012
Posted on: February 24, 2012 9:39 am
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Since: Feb 25, 2010
Posted on: February 24, 2012 9:37 am

Braun wins appeal, won't be suspended

Yankees consistently year in and year out have the highest juicing rates in MLB.  I really hope that's not a shock to anyone...

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