FanDuel - WFBC

February 23, 2012

Braun Wins Suspension Appeal: For the first time, a Major League Baseball player has won an appeal of a drug suspension. National League MVP Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers has overturned a 50-day suspension for failing a drug test. "It is the first step in restoring my good name and reputation," Braun said. "I have been an open book, willing to share details from every aspect of my life as part of this investigation, because I have nothing to hide."

posted by tahoemoj to baseball at 07:12 PM - 25 comments

As a Reds fan, this is disappointing. On the other hand, I'm sort of coming around to believe that he may actually be innocent of doping. Stupid justice.

posted by tahoemoj at 06:08 PM on February 23

I hope for the Brewer's sake he's innocent and it would be nice if he somehow came out of this with his name untarnished.

posted by insomnyuk at 07:14 PM on February 23

This probably did warrant FPP status. Thanks to the admin who elevated it.

posted by tahoemoj at 07:24 PM on February 23

Well, I guess everyone's pretty happy they didn't take away his MVP award, tear up his $105million contract, and burn him at the stake.

posted by grum@work at 07:29 PM on February 23

Well, I guess everyone's pretty happy they didn't take away his MVP award, tear up his $105million contract, and burn him at the stake.

He turned me into a newt, well I got better, Burn him anyway!

sry, couldn't resist

posted by Folkways at 08:06 PM on February 23

Ryan Braun was shocked when he got the news.

I'm pleasantly surprised this happened. I hated to see a rising star tarnished with the stink of steroids.

posted by rcade at 08:07 PM on February 23

Not to piss in the punchbowl, but it appears that Braun's appeal was successful because of a chain of custody issue. Sort of like someone accused of a crime who gets off based on the exclusionary rule. Not saying he did or did not use any performance-enhancing drugs (frankly, I could not care less), just that this does not prove anything other than that MLB's tester apparently did not follow protocol.

posted by holden at 10:53 PM on February 23

Great, so he gets off on a technicality?

posted by insomnyuk at 01:30 AM on February 24

Braun's lawyers were worth every penny.

posted by DudeDykstra at 02:01 AM on February 24

Great, so he gets off on a technicality?

'Ryan Braun got off on a "technicality?" Bull!'

posted by yerfatma at 08:35 AM on February 24

For the first time, a Major League Baseball player has won an appeal of a drug suspension.

That we know of. Had this been handled properly, we wouldn't know about this at all.

posted by rocketman at 08:44 AM on February 24

Since when is the proper handling of evidence a technicality? The integrity of the testing system ought to matter just as much as the integrity of the players. The appeals process exists for a reason. Braun deserves the benefit of the doubt.

posted by rcade at 09:09 AM on February 24

That we know of. Had this been handled properly, we wouldn't know about this at all.

Exactly so. MLB is a sieve. This should never have been public until it was a final decision. You can't unring a bell.

posted by bperk at 09:22 AM on February 24

It looks to me like Braun's failed test got out because sources leaked to ESPN. The league drug policy has language about confidentiality before an appeal.

posted by rcade at 10:24 AM on February 24

Just saw Braun's public statement. I have no idea if he's innocent or not, but it's the most impressive bit of speaking I've seen from an athlete in forever.

posted by yerfatma at 03:32 PM on February 24

Here's a link to his statement. You weren't kidding.

posted by rcade at 05:15 PM on February 24

A 16-year-old blogger had the scoop on Braun's mishandled test more than a week ago.

posted by rcade at 06:13 PM on February 24

After watching Braun's statement, he's quickly moved up the list of my favourite players.

posted by grum@work at 08:56 AM on February 25

A nice, eloquent way of saying the collectors of the urine samples fucked up and, I would guess, presently out of a job. Anyone know?

posted by steelergirl at 02:05 PM on February 25

The collector, Dino Lauenzi, Jr., is coming under scrutiny, but so far MLB stands behind him. His dad talked to the New York Daily News.

I don't think the collector violated the procedures established by his employer or requested by MLB, but the long delay in sending the sample is a huge security hole in the process.

posted by rcade at 06:41 PM on February 25

Thanks for the info, rcade.

I don't really understand the forty plus hour delay in getting the sample to FedEx. I thought timeliness mattered.

posted by steelergirl at 11:57 PM on February 25

Extraordinarily pleased that things worked out this way. The chain-of-custody bit was the clincher, but I still believe the kid was never a doper.

And as someone posted earlier, none of this should ever have seen the light of day in the first place. MLB has some major problems on their hands, considering they can't maintain confidentiality worth a damn.

posted by evixir at 07:18 PM on February 26

MLB has some major problems on their hands, considering they can't maintain confidentiality worth a damn.

The irony did not escape me that MLB was looking for a "leak" concerning the results of a urine sample.

posted by Howard_T at 09:23 PM on February 26

The talk on ESPN today, speaking with experts on collecting of samples such as this, claims a delay in delivering such a sample would only cause a substance level to possibly go down, and that nothing short of magic would make a sample's levels rise.

Braun now should have to legally deal with Lauenzi's concerns for having his name and reputation ruined. Lauenzi's version of how he handled Braun's samples don't seem to point to anything that would negatively taint the results. This person has his rights and good name to be concerned about too, even though he's not a millionaire MVP.

Braun got off on a technicality. I get it. But until I find out how this handler could, or would have a reason to tamper with his sample, he (Braun) is still a player who violated the league's substance abuse policy.

posted by dyams at 07:10 AM on February 29

The New York Times also has a piece on the collector.

The burden of proof is on the accuser, not the accused. Baseball made a complete joke of Braun's test, also breaking the rules about confidentiality. I think it's unfair to leave a cloud over Braun because the league didn't pay attention to its own drug-testing rules. Testing is so serious that the collector has to watch the player urinate, but he can then leave the sample around his house for over 48 hours? Nice attention to detail, Commissioner Selig.

posted by rcade at 09:17 AM on February 29

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