Ryan Braun Wins Appeal, Will Not Be Suspended

Ryan Braun has won the appeal of his failed banned substance test and will not be suspended for the first 50 games of the season, reports Tom Haudricourt of The Journal Sentinel. The union officially announced the win, saying both parties agreed to the announcement despite what is usually a confidential process. MLB has issued a statement saying it "vehemently disagrees" with the decision.

"It is the first step in restoring my good name and reputation," said Braun in a statement passed along by MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. "We were able to get through this because I am innocent … This is not just about one person, but about all current and future players, and thankfully the process worked."

Haudricourt says the appeal went Braun's way not because of the test result, but because of a technicality with the testing process. CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman and The New York Post's Joel Sherman report that part of Braun's argument was that the sample was not shipped in a timely fashion and that the chain of custody was broken for two days, meaning the sample was left unprotected (Twitter links). Independent arbitrator Shyam Das ruled in favor of the technicality, giving Braun the win by a 2-1 margin.

The reigning NL MVP is the first player to have a suspension successfully overtuned through the appeals process.


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465 Comments on "Ryan Braun Wins Appeal, Will Not Be Suspended"


3 years 6 months ago

How?

Lastings
3 years 6 months ago

Consider it collateral for losing Fielder (even though this sounds like BS)…

Lastings
3 years 6 months ago

Consider it collateral for losing Fielder (even though this sounds like BS)…

BlueCatuli
3 years 6 months ago

Because what he took was obviously not used to enhance his performance.

notsureifsrs
3 years 6 months ago

a ruling based on a procedural technicality doesn’t sound like an ‘obvious’ result to me

TheHotCorner
3 years 6 months ago

 That was my thought.  I wish they would say a little more as to just what the “technicality” was.

Bob George
3 years 6 months ago

 
Story says technicality was the sample wasn’t shipped to the lab quickly and Braun’s people argued it could have been tampered with. It’s ridiculous since Braun’s people admitted he was taking a drug that increased testosterone and didn’t get permission from Brewers or MLB, so he is a cheater.

elscorcho the marlin
3 years 6 months ago

i know.  i think people only read the headlines. 

notsureifsrs
3 years 6 months ago

information has been added to this post about 5 times since it first posted

Ken Roucka
3 years 6 months ago

Correct. People see “not guilty” and think “innocent”. Two different things.

3 years 6 months ago

 Brewers fan? Joking.

3 years 6 months ago

 Who knows who’s sample it was. After taking the test it was put in the guys fridge for 2 days before he sent it in. That was plenty of time to be tampered with. The guy was innocent and deserves to be aquitted!!

Mike Kulhavy
3 years 6 months ago

cuz the tamper proof seals that were attached to the bottle and signed by Braun had magically been removed and replaced after the tampering…right!

formerdraftpick
3 years 6 months ago

Maybe he smoked it but didn’t inhale.

3 years 6 months ago

 I like cigars.

BK
3 years 6 months ago

Braun was in a VERY tough situation.  If he truly didn’t use performance enchaining drugs, the track record of athletes who fought the faulty science of the test is ZERO.  So he then had to decide if he wanted to go and try to attempt what has been tried and failed in all past instances or find a novel way to crack a hole in the test to clear his name.  

The fact that he got off on a technicality says almost nothing about what actually happened, but instead the strategy he and his legal team saw most effective in clearing his name.

MLB now has a much bigger problem in having to be hyper vigilant with all tests going forward as there is now a precedent to over turn conviction.

-An Angels Fan

jammin502
3 years 6 months ago

Yes, now the players can not only cheat the game, but also cheat the system!

3 years 6 months ago

 Yeah, a situation he put himself in by cheating the game.

3 years 6 months ago

 It’s more simple than that. The tester’s who do the sampling can’t keep samples at their house because labs are down for the weekend. MLB will need to fund a lab that covers 24/7 or they don’t test on Fridays.

3 years 6 months ago

 Yep, not a Brewers fan at all, but think of it like this…You are arrested on suspicion of murder. You didn’t do it, but can’t prove it. BUT the arresting officer didn’t read you your Miranda rights.

Would you use THAT info and get off on a technicality or risk going to jail forever by trying to prove your innocence? I think it’s pretty clear. 

inleylandwetrust
3 years 6 months ago

Quit coughing and inhale!

formerdraftpick
3 years 6 months ago

Maybe he smoked it but didn’t inhale.

3 years 6 months ago

what so he didnt use performance enhancing drugs? Awesome so happy he proved MLB wrong.

Casor_Greener
3 years 6 months ago

He didn’t prove anybody wrong.  Read the article, the problem was with the “technicality of the sampling process” anyone thinking he is innocent is just a homer.  I guarantee they wouldn’t extend the same courtesy to someone they didn’t like.

Giorgi Almonte
3 years 6 months ago

like Manny?

3 years 6 months ago

Manny was at the end of the road and didn’t just win the MVP.  Also Selig wanted Braun to be the poster boy for the “clean” league.  It is pretty ridiculous.

Giorgi Almonte
3 years 6 months ago

I know man, I just meant this:
Amen_Ra: “I guarantee they wouldn’t extend the same courtesy to someone they didn’t like.”

Giorgi Almonte: “like Manny?” 
No you get it?

Hoosier_Oriole
3 years 6 months ago

Excuse me, Bud Selig “IS” MLB. He disagrees with the finding.

toddcoffeytime
3 years 6 months ago

Braun’s lawyers challenged the chain of custody of the sample, meaning that it could have been mishandled during/before the testing process.  That does not mean Braun is guilty and just simply got away with it, it’s possible the test was a bogus positive from the start (not unlikely given he was found to have more than twice the amount of testosterone in his than any previous test in the history of testing).

I do not say this to single you or anyone out, but as the public really doesn’t know ANY details on this appeal/process of appeal…everybody needs to step off the moral high horse and at least attempt to give the 3rd party the benefit of the doubt in their decision.

3 years 6 months ago

No one comes out looking good in this case.  Braun will always be looked at differently.  The testing policy looks terrible.  This is extremely bad for baseball.

toddcoffeytime
3 years 6 months ago

Agreed, in the end its not good for anybody involved, but people immediately labeling Braun a cheater who got away with it is the biggest tragedy of the whole process

3 years 6 months ago

I think the break down in the system is the tragedy.  Testosterone doesn’t manifest itself.  So unless the handler juiced it, which I seriously doubt he is a cheater that got off because of a technicality.  He didn’t contest the positive he contested the system.

toddcoffeytime
3 years 6 months ago

I’m not sure you realize exactly how big of a mistake screwing up the chain of custody is in the sampling process.  If it cannot be properly verified to have traveled through the proper channels, its not really a test at all, its saying that “a sample was taken, possibly mishandled, and came back positive.”  

Given the results of the test (again, TWICE the amount of testosterone ever found in a test), the smart money is on it having been mishandled.

Casor_Greener
3 years 6 months ago

Coffey is clearly a BRaun fan

toddcoffeytime
3 years 6 months ago

Only when Todd Coffey pitched for the Brewers, friendo.

3 years 6 months ago

Hahaha.  How can someone be only a Todd Coffey Fan?  Are you his wife or kid?  Middle relievers rarely get a cult following.

tapehead4
3 years 6 months ago

Speak for yourself.

– Tapehead4, President of the Ramiro Mendoza Fan Club

toddcoffeytime
3 years 6 months ago

Have you ever seen Todd coffey sprint to the mound from the bullpen?  That’s all you’d need to hop on the fan club, I assure you.  When he (I?) was a Brewer, they started a “Coffey Time” promotion with   Starbucks and timed his (my?) sprints, used to put up some preeeeetty nice times.

Casor_Greener
3 years 6 months ago

Whatever dude. So you think someone slipped some testosterone in his cup while nobody was looking.  Hey Barry is innocent too, I’m not on a moral high horse because I don;’t give a damn about steroids but don’t sit here nd play the “We don’t know” card

toddcoffeytime
3 years 6 months ago

I would say the very definition of a moral high horse is holding a position desperately without any sort of  fact or detail to support it other than personal morality–which appears to be exactly what you’re doing.  

I never said I think someone slipped some testosterone in his cup, I said that we don’t really know anything, so hold all that hatred and vitriol inside until we have some actual facts.

3 years 6 months ago

 well phrased Todd Coffey.  Bonus points for your name

Casor_Greener
3 years 6 months ago

Hatred and vitriol? Please show me where!

I said he is guilty, that is not hatred at all.  You are a fan so you are making excuses knowing full well were this an athlete you despised you would feel different. You speak all the legalese you want, but you know deep down inside he is guilty.  

3 years 6 months ago

you and i have different definitions of guilty…guilt usually involves some type of punishment

3 years 6 months ago

Innocent until proven guilty.

toddcoffeytime
3 years 6 months ago

I would say the very definition of a moral high horse is holding a position desperately without any sort of  fact or detail to support it other than personal morality–which appears to be exactly what you’re doing.  

I never said I think someone slipped some testosterone in his cup, I said that we don’t really know anything, so hold all that hatred and vitriol inside until we have some actual facts.

JunkyardDawg1
3 years 6 months ago

Hey, dude.  If you really are a dude.  Did you know that all of us dudes have testosterone in our system?  Where did it come from?  It’s a hormone we all have.  The better question would be be how could it go from 20 x the norm back to normal when they tested him again.  You might want to think a little harder about what we have here, dude.

pastlives
3 years 6 months ago

people still make fun of others for using the word ‘dude’? are you like 60

Casor_Greener
3 years 6 months ago

A separate source familiar with Braun’s sample said that his elevated testosterone ratio was not unusual when compared to athletes from other sports who have failed drug tests and served suspensions.

0vercast
3 years 6 months ago

Great post!

“That does not mean Braun is guilty and just simply got away with it, it’s possible the test was a bogus positive from the start (not unlikely given he was found to have more than twice the amount of testosterone in his than any previous test in the history of testing).”

Hoosier_Oriole
3 years 6 months ago

When this incident was “leaked” did Braun not say (through his lawyers) he had taken something (medicine, etc?) which gave a false positive? I believe he did, but then obviously during the investigation his lawyers decided to go the “chain of custody” route, found a hole, and drove through it. Looks like Braun’s lawyer money was well invested.

JunkyardDawg1
3 years 6 months ago

No, he didn’t!!

There are unsubstantiated and probably defamatory rumors out there all over the place, and some of them are just plain nasty.

Hoosier_Oriole
3 years 6 months ago

I believe you are wrong. There were comments made that he had some kind of condition that he was taking medicine for which resulted in a positive test result. Trust me, I wish to defame no one, but IMO Ryan escaped because his lawyers found a hole. It might have been a legal hole, but a hole nonetheless. If I lie, why were the results not challenged, just the handling of the sample? If someone tainted this sample, they hit the jackpot. 750 MLB players and they taint the sample of the MVP. I have some ocean front property in Arizona I’ll sell you cheap. Just my opinion. Go O’s!

JunkyardDawg1
3 years 6 months ago

No you’re wrong.  He just confirmed today that there was no medical condition.  You’ve been listening to the wrong sources.  He also confirmed today that the courier knew who’s sample it was, and for two days, including half a day on Monday he had it.  Supposedly, it was in a “cool place in his basement”.  Why did Braun not challenge the result?  Because it would have been exceedingly difficult to prove a negative.  How could he prove it was not his sample?  The easiest way to attack the case was to challenge chain of custody.  As an attorney who deals with similar issues, I can tell you if it was my client, I would have told MLB they had a loser case from the beginning. This was just sloppy, and who knows what happened with the sample.  I don’t think there’s anyway MLB could have won this, due to their failure to follow the agreed upon procedure.  If it was a criminal case, the case case would have been thrown out before it even got to trial. MLB knew this and leaked the result, which tells me they felt they had to attack him publicly instead of winning the right way.

3 years 6 months ago

 Everyone knows by the size of Barry Bonds head that Braun did not have the most testi in his sample. The guys numbers have been consistant unlike Barry who never hit 40 hr before he hit 73. Braun is INNOCENT!!!!!!

Casor_Greener
3 years 6 months ago

A separate source familiar with Braun’s sample said that his elevated testosterone ratio was not unusual when compared to athletes from other sports who have failed drug tests and served suspensions.

Jamie Sayer
3 years 6 months ago

Wow. That’s all I can say. I’m glad, I never thought he’d be a person to use steroids. 

laffingrass
3 years 6 months ago

But he did, and got away with it.  Did you even read the article?

3 years 6 months ago

And you know this for a fact, how?

Sure its possible he was guilty and got a lucky break but its also possible that his results were tampered with either intentionally or unintentionally…

Reasonable doubt…

Todd Smith
3 years 6 months ago

Based on the failed drug test, I would guess.

…but hey, I guess it’s possible the Fed Ex guy happened to open up a random package, find a urine sample, inject it with testosterone and then repackage it back up…

…and someday, OJ will find the “real” killers.

3 years 6 months ago

 Wasn’t he caught for a protein not a steroid?  Anywho, if there was conclusive evidence he would not be getting off.

michael hughes
3 years 6 months ago

No, that’s not true, exactly. There is conclusive evidence that his urine sample did not pass the test, he is getting off because of the possibility that the sample was tampered with somewhere along the way, which is extraordinarily unlikely. Any reasonable person can see what happened here, but the arbitration panel let him off because there was a flaw in technical handling details. Do you think someone spiked his test at some point, really? I’d say the public has all the evidence it needs.

randomkeys
3 years 6 months ago

The public has all the evidence it needs to… what?

See, this is exactly why it’s not up to “the public” to decide something like this. Because “the public” believes it has all the evidence it needs based on hearsay and assumption, having never attended a hearing or even spoken with any single person involved in the case.
If the story we’ve been given here is accurate, the panel made the right choice, even if “the public” assumes Braun is guilty (which is way more fun than assuming he’s innocent, of course).

In normal legal proceedings, any tiny sliver of doubt is enough to acquit an “obviously” guilty person. The burden of proof is NOT on the defendant (in this case, Braun), but rather on the plaintiff (in this case, MLB, or whoever chose to use the evidence of the tainted sample to indict Braun). The burden of proof is on the plaintiff to demonstrate WITHOUT A REASONABLE DOUBT (to use legal terminology) that Braun is guilty. If there is a chance something else could have happened (like this technicality of a delayed shipment) — Braun cannot be found guilty.MLB and arbitration probably doesn’t work exactly the same way as the judicial system, but it’s a reasonable parallel.

michael hughes
3 years 6 months ago

Perhaps, as a legal scholar, you’ll realize that I did not say that the panel should have ruled in favor of the MLB? Also, your caps indicate a degree of confidence, that, maybe, you should not have. Demonstrating guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is not a unilateral standard for justice, judgements, courts, or even courts in the United States, much less arbitration panels. That burden of proof is reserved for criminal trials, both civil trials, and arbitration hearings have different burdens. In fact, there is no one standard of burden of proof for arbitration hearings. 
I won’t even bother responding to the first part, because you are so far off base (to use baseball terminology) that it would be useless. If you’d really like, then I will explain, but otherwise I’m not wasting my time. Finally, try not to demean and obliquely slander people by insinuating that they completely lack dignity and are only condemning someone because, you know, it’s sooo amusing.

randomkeys
3 years 6 months ago

And yet no answer to my opening question: the public has all the evidence it needs to… what?

michael hughes
3 years 6 months ago

I’m sorry I thought it was clear. Obviously,  the public has no authority in sentencing Braun to anything. However, public opinion can be a powerful force and I think the public can use what they know about the case to make up their own minds about his innocence or his guilt. It would be wonderful to be able to get all the facts, but we do know some very important ones and Braun always has the ability to clear anything thing up that he is willing to. 
Knowing what we know, his urine failed a test, initially Braun’s team reported a false positive due to medication, eventually Braun won his appeal but not because of the earlier stated reason, the reason for the victory did not indicate that the panel had evidence that disproved the tests results only suggested that the tests was not properly handled, Braun still has not told the public what specifically would have caused an error in the test, and against procedure Rob Manfred issued a statement that he “vehemently disagreed” with the decision, until we get more information that contradicts the strong case that he used some kind of PED we can at least doubt his innocence, and I do.

randomkeys
3 years 6 months ago

I totally doubt his innocence. I also doubt his guilt.

The only evidence anyone ever needed to come to their own personal conclusion was the first headline that came out months ago, that Braun had failed a test. As far as the public cares, that’s it. No one was waiting to be given a reasonable conclusion — people were only waiting to be told either a) you were right, he’s guilty, or b) surprise, he weaseled out of it somehow.

I’m just not a fan of the public making the determination of guilt. They have all the evidence they need to satisfy their thirst for blame, but nowhere near enough to actually come to a 100% definite conclusion.

Nor, to be fair, does the arbitration panel or Bud Selig, or anyone.

But when one relies on assumptions and opinions to reach conclusions, the result is a witch hunt. The suspected steroid users (a group headlined by the likes of Bonds and Clemens) were convicted in the eye of the public before much else had ever happened, regardless of how right or wrong anyone might be.

The thing that troubles me about the public “conviction” of people like this is the general sentiment that we (the fans) have somehow been wronged, and therefore these players deserve to be convicted, and therefore we deserve to feel better when they are. That part of the last 15+ years of baseball has left me with a sour taste.

And in other news, I hate the way this site threads replies. Anyone know how to change the look?

michael hughes
3 years 6 months ago

I’m Actually with you on a lot of things, and I’d explain them but I think the sites formating would cut me off or stretch it out forever.

Todd Smith
3 years 6 months ago

Call him a cheater.  

It’s called the court of public opinion.  Its the same reason everybody calls Barry Bonds a cheater, even though he never served a suspension.

3 years 6 months ago

Have to hand it to him for fighting it, opposed to someone like Manny…It does not matter if I think someone spiked his urine.  Considering how his urine was mishandled, everything is up in the air.  Fortunately (or unfortunately) if it was that open & shut Braun would be suspended.  

michael hughes
3 years 6 months ago

Fair enough. It comes down to the MLB making an unacceptable mistake in their testing process that opened the door for doubt that never should have been there. Still, the ruling doesn’t exactly “clear his name” but MLB can’t make those kinds of errors and not expect the arbitrators to consider them in their judgement.

3 years 6 months ago

Good point

3 years 6 months ago

isn’t it possible it’s an ex-girlfriend? or maybe someone from his past that he owes money to or something?

also, its possible that just by going missing, something actually could have happened to the sample. maybe because it was left unrefrigerated for too long an amount of time, the urine sample warmed to a temperature where if its tested it appears there is more testosterone than would ever be found in a normal human body. maybe the negligence truly is the reason for the false positive, the truth is we’ll never know about braun for sure, but at the same time, there was absolutely not enough to go on to convict and hang him for being a user. reasonable doubt is a powerful concept. lives hang in its balance sometimes.

Todd Smith
3 years 6 months ago

Is it possible that an ex girlfriend broke into a Fed Ex sorting facility over a weekend, found his urine sample and injected it with testosterone?  Sure, I guess it’s possible.

Is it a more likely possibility than Ryan Braun taking a banned substance and weaseling out of it?  Not really.

Jamie Sayer
3 years 6 months ago

 Actually, when I read it all it said was his appeal was accepted. Sorry more information was added afterwards and I didn’t come back and read it again and again till all the information was added.

3 years 6 months ago

 Never proven he used steroids.

3 years 6 months ago

Wow.

3 years 6 months ago

Judge must of had Braun on his fantasy team.

Ryan Graywacz
3 years 6 months ago

No way..

UnbaisedSoxFan
3 years 6 months ago

Suprising! I didn’t think that would happen.

ObamaDinoKiller
3 years 6 months ago

wow

3 years 6 months ago

What. the. hell.

3 years 6 months ago

Awesome!

3 years 6 months ago

Definitely didn’t see that coming.

3 years 6 months ago

true?

dorsey56
3 years 6 months ago

Now let’s test Bautista and let HIM slide too!

PWNdroia
3 years 6 months ago

Or Pujols by that logic.

dorsey56
3 years 6 months ago

No..Pujols’ arms ALWAYS has been the same, as his carrer. But Mr. Bautista? It’s like Gonzo with the DiamondBacks. Give me a break!?

3 years 6 months ago

 Bautista’s been tested LOTS, do your research please.

Giorgi Almonte
3 years 6 months ago

exactly!

toddcoffeytime
3 years 6 months ago

And Braun has passed over 25 tests in his career, according to him.

3 years 6 months ago

So Bautista’s arms did change? He looks no different now than he did 3 years ago, except with a different swing. Again, you’ll notice that he magically became awesome in Sept of ’09 — do you think steroids work that fast, or maybe a change in mechanics had something to do with it?

Lunchbox45
3 years 6 months ago

 so ridiculous

bautista is not big at all.

he must have some really high tech steroids that make you hit HR’s, have a good eye at the plate and contribute no physical changes.

mypoorbuccos
3 years 6 months ago

 For what ought to be, but sadly won’t be the last time regarding Joey Bats:

 He. Changed. His. Swing. Mechanics.

All he’s done since then is be one of if not the best hitters in the game.

3 years 6 months ago

Well I want him in fantasy now.  Think he might have a chip on his shoulder?

tinman135
3 years 6 months ago

 Maybe, but I doubt he has as good a season as he did last year.  Pitchers are going to be more likely not to give him something to hit without Fielder in the lineup as well.

thebigbangdito
3 years 6 months ago

yup exactly.  (had braun last year in fantasy and led me to win championship.. not sure if he’ll be on my team again unless i can get him later rounds.)

101andCounting
3 years 6 months ago

They did add Aramis Ramirez, though, and Corey Hart just keeps getting better.

tinman135
3 years 6 months ago

But if you know baseball, you can not compare Fielder to either Ramirez or Hart.

101andCounting
3 years 6 months ago

Obviously – Fielder’s on track to be a Hall-of-Famer if he can continue at this pace (and I hope he does), while Hart and Ramirez are just good players. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t offer protection for Braun.

3 years 6 months ago

A cubs fan speaking rationally! Thank you!