Blog Entry

Braun's sample collector denies tampering

Posted on: February 28, 2012 2:17 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans

Last week Ryan Braun held a press conference to tell his side of his positive test, casting doubt and innuendo on the collector of his sample. He didn't name Dino Laurenzi Jr., but his name came out anyway shortly after Braun's press conference.

On Tuesday, Laurenzi released a statement:
On February 24th, Ryan Braun stated during his press conference that "there were a lot of things that we learned about the collector, about the collection process, about the way that the entire thing worked that made us very concerned and very suspicious about what could have actually happened." Shortly thereafter, someone who had intimate knowledge of the facts of this case released my name to the media. I am issuing this statement to set the record straight.

I am a 1983 graduate of the University of Wisconsin and have received Master Degrees from the University of North Carolina and Loyola University of Chicago. My full-time job is the director of rehabilitation services at a health care facility. In the past, I have worked as a teacher and an athletic trainer, including performing volunteer work with Olympic athletes. I am a member of both the National Athletic Trainers' Association and the Wisconsin Athletic Trainers' Association.  
I have been a drug collector for Comprehensive Drug Testing since 2005 and have been performing collections for Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program since that time. I have performed over 600 collections for MLB and also have performed collections for other professional sports leagues. I have performed post-season collections for MLB in four separate seasons involving five different clubs.  
On October 1, 2011, I collected samples from Mr. Braun and two other players. The CDT collection team for that day, in addition to me, included three chaperones and a CDT coordinator.  One of the chaperones was my son, Anthony. Chaperones do not have any role in the actual collection process, but rather escort the player to the collection area.   
I followed the same procedure in collecting Mr. Braun's sample as I did in the hundreds of other samples I collected under the Program. I sealed the bottles containing Mr. Braun's A and B samples with specially-numbered, tamper-resistant seals, and Mr. Braun signed a form certifying, among other things, that the specimens were capped and sealed in his presence and that the specimen identification numbers on the top of the form matched those on the seals.  

I placed the two bottles containing Mr. Braun's samples in a plastic bag and sealed the bag. I then placed the sealed bag in a standard cardboard Specimen Box which I also sealed with a tamper-resistant, correspondingly-numbered seal placed over the box opening. I then placed Mr. Braun's Specimen Box, and the Specimen Boxes containing the samples of the two other players, in a Federal Express Clinic Pack. None of the sealed Specimen Boxes identified the players. I completed my collections at Miller Park at approximately 5:00 p.m. Given the lateness of the hour that I completed my collections, there was no FedEx office located within 50 miles of Miller Park that would ship packages that day or Sunday.

Therefore, the earliest that the specimens could be shipped was Monday, October 3. In that circumstance, CDT has instructed collectors since I began in 2005 that they should safeguard the samples in their homes until FedEx is able to immediately ship the sample to the laboratory, rather than having the samples sit for one day or more at a local FedEx office. The protocol has been in place since 2005 when I started with CDT and there have been other occasions when I have had to store samples in my home for at least one day, all without incident.  

The FedEx Clinic Pack containing Mr. Braun's samples never left my custody. Consistent with CDT's instructions, I brought the FedEx Clinic Pack containing the samples to my home. Immediately upon arriving home, I placed the FedEx Clinic Pack in a Rubbermaid container in my office which is located in my basement.   My basement office is sufficiently cool to store urine samples. No one other than my wife was in my home during the period in which the samples were stored. The sealed Specimen Boxes were not removed from the FedEx Clinic Pack during the entire period in which they were in my home. On Monday, October 3, I delivered the FedEx Clinic Pack containing Mr. Braun's Specimen Box to a FedEx office for delivery to the laboratory on Tuesday, October 4. At no point did I tamper in any way with the samples. It is my understanding that the samples were received at the laboratory with all tamper-resistant seals intact. 
This situation has caused great emotional distress for me and my family. I have worked hard my entire life, have performed my job duties with integrity and professionalism, and have done so with respect to this matter and all other collections in which I have participated. Neither I nor members of my family will make any further public comments on this matter. I request that members of the media, and baseball fans, whatever their views on this matter, respect our privacy. And I would like to sincerely thank my family and friends for their overwhelming support through this difficult time. Any future inquiries should be directed to my attorney Boyd Johnson of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP.
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Since: Oct 5, 2007
Posted on: February 29, 2012 11:31 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: May 17, 2007
Posted on: February 29, 2012 11:26 am

Braun's sample collector denies tampering

I love how you call all of the containers "tamper-proof" when they are "tamper-resistant" (which usually means a sticker or plastic "padlock" with a number on it is strectched across the opening).  In actuality they are probably not even resistant, but tamper-evident.  Either way, there was a 44 hour period when anything could have happened.  As the person you quoted said, why is the collector guaranteed to be telling the truth, but Braun isn't?

Since: Mar 21, 2008
Posted on: February 29, 2012 11:26 am

Braun's sample collector denies tampering

I think the bigger scam is that this is Big Bud's team.  His stud got busted for 50 games, then somehow for the first time ever, wins the appeal.  Bud just lost his BIG stud 1B to tigers.  Braun HAS to be in that line up to compete, so he is.   I have never understood how this is not a total conflict of interest and to me it reeks of corruption, scandal and cheating.   But I guess it seems the league has been like that for awhile, maybe forever.  Maybe cheating really is just a part of the game. 

Since: Jul 28, 2009
Posted on: February 29, 2012 11:24 am

Braun's sample collector denies tampering

The Brew Crew Jew!   The Hebrew Hammer!   I really dont care if Braun took PEDs.    He is a great player and is not a huge hulk.   he would be good either way if he took them or if he didn't.

Since: May 9, 2007
Posted on: February 29, 2012 11:03 am

Braun's sample collector denies tampering

"I love the fact that everyone doesn't take Braun for telling the truth but automatically thinks this guy it telling the truth."

The physical evidence supports "this guy", not Braun.  

In order for the collector's story to be true, you have to believe that he followed the prescribed protocol by taking the sample to his home office and then delivering it to a FedEx facility Monday morning when it would actually be shipped.

In order for Braun's tampering assertion to be true, one of two things had to happen.
1)  While the collector was storing the sample, someone opened the tamper-proof box, opened the tamper-proof container, contaminated the sample, re-sealed the tamper-proof container leaving no evidence of the tampering, re-sealed the tamper-proof box leaving no evidence of the tampering.
2)  The sample was not opened during the time that it was in the custody of the collector but it was mishandled in a way that caused the testosterone levels in the sealed sample to rise to levels that indicate performance enhancement.

Which of these possible scenarios seem more likely?

Since: Aug 22, 2007
Posted on: February 29, 2012 10:46 am

Braun's sample collector denies tampering

Brewers fans defending Braun are now as comical as SF Giants fans for years defending Barry Bonds using the "he never tested positive" argument.  Before Brew Crew fans go crazy, I also agree he correctly got off on the chain of custody argument.  MLB's guidelines are way too vague as to what the collector was to do with the samples.  The sampler did NOT do anything wrong but the guidelines should be black and white with no wiggle room for technicalities.  I will be shocked if more players (i.e. Manny Ramirez) don't have their lawyers look into this loophole.  Loophole or not, Braun's lawyers were LEGALLY right for pursuing it. 

On the other hand, he cheated.  There's really no way around that.  Both sides AGREE that none of the players' samples had been tampered with.  The "FedEx vs house" or the "would you want your sample sitting in a tupperware bin" arguments are just a ways of muddying the waters to get people distracted from a simple scientific fact: Synthetic testosterone does not magically appear in a TRIPLED SEALED test sample regardless of whether its stored in a house, a Kinkos, for two hours, 44 hours, cool environment, or the Sahara desert.  Secondly, to drag the samplers name (who by the way grew up in Wisconsin, went to UW, AND is a BREWERS FAN) threw the mud is pathetic.  Forget about the fact that both sides agree it WAS NOT tampered with for a minute.  What sane reason would he have for screwing his favorite teams superstar???

Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: February 29, 2012 10:44 am

Braun's sample collector denies tampering

If there are so many questions about what this collector did, he could be lying about it to save his own neck
There are not "so many questions"...the ruling was simple, the 48 hour delay in mailing the sealed samples invalidated the test.  Apparently for the arbitrator, it would have been better for the samples to be sitting in god know's what conditions at the Fed Ex location from Saturday until Monday instead of being safeguarded by the collector.

Show me any PROOF the collector tampered with the samples and I will believe Braun.  Show many any PROOF that anything the collector did in storing the samples for two days would suddenly make artificial testosterone appear in the samples that wasn't there when Braun peed in the cup and I'll believe Braun.  As far as I know, and I am open to being proven wrong, artificial testosterone does not suddenly appear just from the passage of time, or from the air, or from a sample being stored at the wrong temperature.  If there was artificial testosterone in the samples it either came from Braun or somebody tampered with the sealed samples.  I have seen no proof of tampering, which tells me it came from Braun --whether it was intentional or not, that I don't know, but I think if it was unintentional Braun would have just come out and said so and lived up to the mistake instead of attacking the credibility of the collector.

Since: Jun 10, 2011
Posted on: February 29, 2012 10:41 am

Braun's sample collector denies tampering

Braun cheated, plain and simple. Selig is doing what he did during the 90s and trying to cover up the realities of cheaters in baseball. The fact that Braun is by far the best and most popular player on Selig's team only made it worse for Selig. And now they're ruining the name of one of their med people just to give the appearance that Braun is somehow innocent.

What a total scam.

Since: Oct 30, 2006
Posted on: February 29, 2012 10:39 am

Braun's sample collector denies tampering

Braun didn't call the guy out, that's the media. Braun said proper protocol wasn't followed and therefore, his sample must be dismissed. The guy took numerous other tests throughout the season and was always clean. Then a sample shows up with numbers off the charts...It may be tampering and it may not be. But Braun didn't say the guy taking the sample necessarily did anything..It's irrelevant. Protocol wasn't followed, case dismissed.

Since: Oct 25, 2011
Posted on: February 29, 2012 10:38 am

Braun's sample collector denies tampering

Braun is full of crap AND he tried to throw average joe under the bus.  Send him our way, he can take Big Mac w/ him too. 

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