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.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.

Since: Jan 29, 2008
Posted on: February 24, 2012 9:11 am

Braun wins appeal, won't be suspended

Ryan Braun has raised some questions. He offered to and took a test right after that came back clean. Maybe he had time to flush I am not sure. But he also offered to take a DNA test to prove the dirty urine sample was not his and baseball refused.
The other question I have is the sample was probably tainted because of the incredibly high levels of testosterone. Something like 50 times higher than anyone had ever tested before. That right there tells me the test was flawed.
Braun also passes the eye test, he does not look like a behemoth like  Sosa or some of the others. And look at the size of his head. That is a huge tell tale sign. Sosa's head was much larger during his juicing years.
I am inclined to believe Braun in this case.

Since: Sep 4, 2006
Posted on: February 24, 2012 9:07 am

Braun wins appeal, won't be suspended

McGwire may have been the biggest juicer ever after Barry and then the Yankees pitching staff. Clemens and Pettite taint everything they accomplished over that time.

Since: Sep 4, 2006
Posted on: February 24, 2012 9:05 am

Braun wins appeal, won't be suspended

I am a Cardinal fan and do not believe Braun was cheating. Not sure what happened or how the positive test happened though.

Since: Oct 22, 2008
Posted on: February 24, 2012 9:03 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.

Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: February 24, 2012 8:47 am

Braun wins appeal, won't be suspended

My guess is that the arbitor didnt just uphold his appeal because of the procedural problems but because the reason for his positive test were documented and approved by a medical professional that was an outside source. But MLB and 95% of the news entities will spin the procedural side of the story just to try and make him look bad and leave open the thought that he was dirty.

Since: Jun 27, 2011
Posted on: February 24, 2012 8:38 am

Braun wins appeal, won't be suspended

Did you read the part about his requesting another test once he found out about the results of the first?  The second was negative.

Since: Feb 23, 2012
Posted on: February 24, 2012 8:34 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Oct 22, 2007
Posted on: February 24, 2012 8:33 am

Braun wins appeal, won't be suspended

MikeC, well said.

Shame on MLB for such an obvious and preventable mistake.

Since: Oct 22, 2007
Posted on: February 24, 2012 8:30 am

Braun wins appeal, won't be suspended

Once again, Bud Selig's MLB drops the ball when it comes to drug testing. They can't even follow their own rules as far as the drug testing policy goes. Of course, they want everyone to look the other way when they screw up.

At this point, I honestly don't know whether Braun was guilty or not. Unfortunately for him, MLB and baseball fans, that question will continue to follow him from now on.

One question I do have is that, while this article just talks about one arbitrator, other articles I've read have said Braun won his appeal 2-1. Was there just one arbitrator, as this article suggests, or were there other people hearing the case and determining its outcome? If the latter, it would be interesting to hear from the other two voting parties to understand how this process worked.

Since: Feb 24, 2012
Posted on: February 24, 2012 8:28 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or