Friday, February 24, 2012
MVP Ryan Braun 50-Game Suspension Overturned
In a post-steroid era it is hard to take a player who puts up magnificent power numbers at face value anymore. Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun had the best season of his life in 2011, one that ended with thw National League Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. However, Braun was cited for a positive drug test.
Here we go again.
After Manny Ramirez, one of the most feared sluggers of the last 15 years was exposed as a fraud for the second time last season (found guilty of drug use and chose to retire than face a 100-game suspension), Braun's elevated testosterone result was just another setback to a fanbase that just wants to move on and believe its players are finally playing the game the right way again.
Braun, to his credit, immediately appealed the result and for the first time in baseball a player won his appeal. As a result Braun will not be suspended.
This is great, right?
Reports are that the decision was overturned because his sample may have been compromised by the urine collector who instead of sending it out immediately by Fed Ex on Saturday kept it at his home until Monday. It was also reported that Braun's lawyers offered MLB a chance to take a DNA test of the sample to prove it was Braun's and the league refused. Sounds like corruption to me on the part of the MLB.
Unfortunately Braun can't go back to business as usual. There will always be that thought of why did the test show a positive result in the first place? We saw Rafael Palmeiro wag his finger at Congress years ago vehemently denying he used Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) only to be suspended for testing positive weeks later and retire in shame.
By all accounts Braun is a stand up citizen on and off the baseball diamond. Shouldn't we let it go since he actually put up a real fight to clear his name, the reaction we expect all players to have when being accused of cheating?
Here is some of Braun's statement below:
"I am very pleased and relieved by today's decision. It is the first step in restoring my good name and reputation. We were able to get through this because I am innocent and the truth is on our side.
We provided complete cooperation throughout, despite the highly unusual circumstances. 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. I have passed over 25 drug tests in my career, including at least three in the past year".