Blog Entry

Braun needs to convince an arbitrator -- and you

Posted on: December 11, 2011 6:09 pm
Edited on: December 11, 2011 6:12 pm
 
Ryan Braun hopes to convince an arbitrator that he doesn't deserve a 50-game suspension for his failed drug test.

He also hopes to convince you that he's not just another baseball drug cheat.

History is against him on both counts. And it doesn't help him at all that he is faced with fighting both battles at the same time.

Braun isn't the first player to fail a drug test, and he's not the first player to proclaim his innocence after testing positive.

He is, however, the first player whose failed test became public knowledge before his appeal was heard. Baseball's policy is to hold off on any announcements until an appeal is denied and a suspension is certain, precisely because news of a failed test can be extremely damaging to a player's image, even if he is later exonerated.

Of course, no player has ever been exonerated through the arbitration system.

Could Braun be the first?

His people say he could be. The suggestion is that they have evidence that they believe will play well in front of the arbitrator. And while it might help them in the court of public opinion to make that evidence public immediately, lawyers tend to want to hold on to it until it is presented in court (or in this case, in arbitration).

The two pieces of information that came out Sunday, both told to CBSSports.com by a source familiar with the case, are that Braun's test was not for a performance-enhancing drug (he didn't fail a steroid test), and that Braun asked for and passed a second test after the first, failed test.

While either of those things may help Braun in the public's eye, neither is of great significance.

Whatever drug Braun tested positive for, there's no dispute on either side that it was a banned substance under baseball's drug rules. Drugs make that list because they are associated or otherwise linked to the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

Also, while Braun's request for a second test is nice, it's hardly definitive. Many of the drugs tested for by baseball pass through your system quickly.

Ultimately, the best way for Braun to defend his image would be to succeed before the arbitrator, but chance isn't expected to come until sometime next month.

The problem Braun faces now is to keep public opinion from turning completely against him before an arbitrator even hears the case. The problem he'll face later is that whether or not he succeeds before the arbitrator, he has a hard time not being remembered as a guy who failed a test.



Category: MLB
Comments

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: December 11, 2011 7:42 pm
 

Braun needs to convince an arbitrator -- and you

If there was a surprise test for HGH what % of players would fail?


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