OT - Ryan Braun wins MLB drug appeal

Submitted by ckersh74 on February 23rd, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Just broke within the last half-hour.

We had the thread where the suspension broke initially, so here's the other end of it.



February 23rd, 2012 at 6:08 PM ^

even if he was not guilty still didnt see this being changed. Good for him being the MVP was a black eye for baseball again, and this sport doesnt need anymore.


February 24th, 2012 at 12:25 AM ^

Its embarassing for baseball because they didn't follow procedure.

There is no provision in the current testing that allows for a challenge based on substance. The only exception is if MLB approves the substance prior to testing. What happened was, essentially, a broken chain of custody. The test wasn't sent out in the acceptable timeframe.

Why does it matter? (1) Its in the rules (2) it COULD have potentially been tampered with. If you are going to have safeguards in place, they need to be followed.


February 24th, 2012 at 4:52 PM ^

Sorry, but what you just said is completely and utterly false, but I'll attempt to break it down.

(1) "His test was positive and nothing changed by this ruling." - Not true. Braun is not suspended for 50 games now.

(2) "He got off on a technicality." - Partially correct, but is it his fault MLB can't follow THEIR own procedure?

(3) "He challenged based on the fact that it sat for 48 hours prior to being shipped to Montreal for testing." - I lied. Not everything you said is false, you got this one right; my bad.

(4) "This ruling hurts every clean athlete, and now we will see every dirty athlete rush to challenge positive rulings based on this." - NO NO NO and a thousand times NO. If MLB follows the procedure, unlike in this case, the argument simply won't work.

(5) "He's guilty period." - He's not guilty, period. Similar to police failing to give Miranda rights, etc. When the MLB (and the police) fail to follow procedure, the individual is released and determined to be not guilty. The individual isn't necessarily innocent, but is CLEARLY not guilty.


February 23rd, 2012 at 6:21 PM ^

I don't know how to react to this decision to be honest. I have nothing against Braun, but it is concerning when one of the best players in the game tests positive for a performance enhancing drug. Baseball was effected by this for so long that it sometimes is still hard to believe that performancing enhancing drugs aren't a big part of the game. I think this is also interesting because this is one of the very few cases where someone connected with taking performance enhancing drugs has got their suspension appealed. Does anyone on here think if Braun hadn't won the MVP that his suspension would have been upheld? I have been thinking about this all day and haven't really came up with a good answer so I just wanted to hear others opinions. Either way congrats to Braun on a great year but I still think Matt Kemp should have won the MVP award.


February 24th, 2012 at 8:12 AM ^

Becasue he is guilty...  You may get off for going 20 over the speed limit based on the mood of the judge or the officer showing up but you're still guilty.  Braun got off because he was the MVP and the players didn't want to taint that image and the third party guy, well, I'm just going to say I wouldn't be surprised if he was heavily influenced...


The player reps shouldn't even get a vote - they agreed to the testing and the punishment and his test was positive, end of story...


February 23rd, 2012 at 6:55 PM ^

Per the ABC  News article, the arbitrator was the deciding vote on the panel, but no reasoning for the decision has yet been given. 


I get that management and the union will almost always split their votes in these situations, but I am very curious as to what the reasons were for overturning the decision. Count me among the surprised as I thought this would almost certainly stand. 

Braun did make  a statement - the Washington Post has it here:


Reading this, I have no doubt that this decision will basically overwhelm the press coverage at Brewers camp tomorrow. I wouldn't mind be a fly on the wall here, for some reason. 

EDIT: ESPN has some insight into what exactly they questioned, and it has to do with the chain of events in the sample collection. From the article:

"According to one of the sources, the collector, after getting Braun's sample, was supposed to take the sample to FedEx/Kinkos for shipping but thought it was closed because it was late on a Saturday. As has occurred in some other instances, the collector took the sample home and kept it in a cool place and possibly refrigerated it. Policy states that the sample is supposed to get to FedEx as soon as possible."



February 23rd, 2012 at 6:51 PM ^

As a Brewer fan, I couldnt be any happier!!!  On the Brewer blogs, fans are saying Braun should come back and sue ESPN and whoever broke the story that Braun took roids.  Any lawyers out there who think Braun could have a legit case?

My name ... is Tim

February 23rd, 2012 at 6:56 PM ^

What would ESPN be sued for? Reporting the fact that he tested positive and was suspended? No matter the result of this appeal, that happened.


If his suspension was overturned, it's likely not because the original test actually was negative but some idiot read it as positive instead. My guess is that it was overturned because the circumstances surrounding the test made the test unreliable. There are a number of factors (medication, testing procedure, etc.) that could increase the likelihood of a false positive that makes the test unreliable. That doesn't exonerate him either, it just means that the test is reliable only to a certain likelihood.


February 24th, 2012 at 8:16 AM ^

First off this isn't a legal determination as there have been no courts involved and secondly he is guilty. His test came back positive but he was connected enough and 1 person was stupid enough to not immediately take it to Fed EX that he got off.


Unless of course you're the type of person that thinks that only evidence found the exact correct way is actual evidence.  As I said before - you may get off for going 20 over the speed limit but that doesn't mean you're not guilty.


February 24th, 2012 at 4:56 PM ^

This is a legal determination - it was an arbitration case. Rules of law are followed. That one person being "stupid enough" to not follow the rules? That's all you need to find a flaw in the chain of custody.

"Unless of course you're the type of person that thinks that only evidence found the exact correct way is actual evidence." - Yes, I do. And I believe most judges (and arbitrators) would agree with me. Don't like the procedures? CHANGE THEM. You don't manipulate the procedures to get a desired outcome.

"you may get off for going 20 over the speed limit but that doesn't mean you're not guilty." - Not  true. You are not guilty. It doesn't necessarily follow that you are innocent, however. HUGE difference between "not guilty" and "innocent".

It doesn't matter if you don't like the result or not, the point is understanding the reasoning for the result. If you can't understand the reasoning, then you will never understand what the outcome really means.


February 23rd, 2012 at 6:59 PM ^

I read the collection agent did not follow protocol in shipping the sample. He waited a day because he though fedex was closed. Why even attempt to go there if you think it's closed, right?

Now the MLB is pissed about this, even though they agreed on arbitration.

What I find "fishy" is Braun passing multiple drug test prior, and immediately after his failed one.




swan flu

February 23rd, 2012 at 7:44 PM ^

From the start the reports were that he tested positive for NON-performing-enhancing drugs, but his testosterone levels were very high.


If it turns out that Braun tested positive for some herpes medication, then he has every right to sue the MLB for violating HIPPA.  I don't see how he could sue ESPN. (This is totally unlikely because herpes meds don't spike testosterone levels)


EDIT-sorry this was in response to a post above.


February 23rd, 2012 at 7:51 PM ^

So basically he doesn't dispute that he was positive for synthetic testosterone, he won the argument that he shouldn't have been suspended for his positive test because it wasn't mailed in properly per the testing guidelines.

State Street

February 23rd, 2012 at 8:22 PM ^

We must have some chemists on the board.  Would a sample being left out in the open for a few days really cause it to show 4 times as much testosterone?  Doesn't make any sense to me. 

I don't think Braun's name will be cleared in the court of public opinion by any means. 


February 23rd, 2012 at 10:18 PM ^

Ryan Braun tested positive for high levels of testosterone (not HGH, as another poster suggested.) I'm not 100% sure on the MLB testing methods but I would imaging that they used the same methods used in the Floud Landis debacle. That would involve mass spec analysis of carbon isotope ratios which is extremely accurate. If anything I would expect his testosterone levels to decrease overnight (more likely they would remain the same.)

I have personally left biological samples out overnight on a benchtop (by accident) which were later assayed for much more sensitive readouts and they came back unaltered. I would expect testosterone levels in urine to react in the same manner.


February 23rd, 2012 at 8:50 PM ^

Brian Braun, his union, the MLBPA and his attorneys should be congradulated for their efforts in this case.  Thousands of athletes around the world will benefit from their success in bringing objective rational judgment into the often sloppy, but highly lucrative, business of drug-testing.  Milions of citizens can only hope that the efforts of Braun and his cohorts will stimulate a serious societal review of the reliability of current drug testing regimes.


February 23rd, 2012 at 11:43 PM ^

It was a joke. Braun is guilty MLB just messed up in the shipment. Having your piss refrigerated does not make you test positive for peds. He got off on a technicality. Braun is a liar he never argued on the appeal he is innocent. So the Brewer homers should just feel lucky that he got off but it makes him no less of a cheater. It is just like Casey Anthony, Robert Blake and OJ.


February 24th, 2012 at 1:19 AM ^

...except from a PR standpoint whether he is exonerated or not.  Baseball PED suspensions are a joke and no real disincentive to cheating.  50 games (which is what, 3 months?) is a trivial suspension compared to many other sports that have two years suspensions for first time offenders.