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Brewers issue statement on Ryan Braun’s PED charge

Dec 11, 2011, 9:35 AM EDT

NLCS Cardinals Brewers Baseball AP

Brewers chairman and principal owner Mark Attanasio issued a statement late Saturday night offering the organization’s official stance on the allegations that left fielder Ryan Braun was using synthetic testosterone during the 2011 season.

If you’re not into reading prepared statements, which almost always lack provocativeness, the gist is this: Braun has been an honorable player since he was drafted in 2005 and his side of the story deserves to be heard before people begin to make judgements.

Via MLB.com, here are Attanasio’s words in full:

“Ryan Braun has been a model citizen in every sense of the word, both in the Milwaukee community and for the Brewers.  Since joining our organization in 2005, he has been a person of character and integrity.

MLB has put a confidential testing program into place, which I personally support, that has a specific review process that must be followed before determining whether a player is in violation.  Ryan has issued a statement that there are highly unusual circumstances surrounding this case that will support his complete innocence and demonstrate that there was absolutely no intentional violation of the program.  We are dealing with an incomplete set of facts and speculation.  Before there is a rush to judgement  Ryan deserves the right to be heard.  We are committed to supporting Ryan to get to the truth of what happened in this unfortunate situation.

As a father, I take the use of prohibited substances seriously, because I know the effects they can have on the body and on a person’s life.  I want the Milwaukee community to know that we support drug testing not only because it is MLB policy but because it is the right thing to do.

I need to acknowledge that at this point the Milwaukee Brewers have not heard from the Office of the Commissioner or any official entity related to the MLB testing programs.  Accordingly we do not have access to any of the facts or knowledge of any of the circumstances that are being circulated in the media with regard to Ryan Braun.  The team will release follow-up statements at the appropriate time.”

Braun is claiming to be “completely innocent” and is currently in arbitration with MLB over the positive test.

  1. ditaksdika - Dec 11, 2011 at 9:41 AM

    this is tough to swallow as a brewers fan. From what I’ve read on twitter and other sites, this is being vehemently denied by braun, and apparently after the test failed, he requested to take another one right away and passed just fine. I’m no expert, I have no idea how long that stuff stays in your system, compared to how far apart the two tests were. Its in the appeal process now, and apparently everyone involved are very upset that this got out in the first place, as its supposed to be confidential until the appeal process is finished.

    • uyf1950 - Dec 11, 2011 at 10:03 AM

      I’m not sure where you are getting your information but from everything that’s been published. MLB had his 2 sets of samples tested separately and he failed both test. Perhaps the test you may referring to that he passed was a private test that he had conducted on his own, I don’t know. Which to be honest if that was indeed the case I won’t put a lot of credence in the results of that private test. There is a reason why none of the 4 major professional sports organization in the US allow athletes to do self testing. I have to say obviously Braun deserves to have his side of the story heard by MLB in the appeal process. But testing positive on 2 sets of samples is pretty damning. And generally where there is smoke there is fire in these situations.

      • taylornick3 - Dec 11, 2011 at 11:05 AM

        uyf1950, it wasn’t 2 sets of samples, it was the same sample, tested twice. The MLB did an initial test on and found elevated levels of testosterone. After finding elevated levels, it was sent to a Canadian lab for more rigorous analysis that concluded the testosterone was synthetic. This seems like a fairly convicting result, and as a Brewers homer it disappoints me.

        However, the MLB has in the past tacitly approved supplements that had banned substances, see JC Romero, by saying no over the counter drugs would induce a positive test. Also, the Starcaps scandal in the NFL where an unlisted ingredient led to the suspension of 3 players. Sometimes its an honest mistake, and as pointed out by Attanasio, I will wait for all the facts before condemning Braun.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 11, 2011 at 11:20 AM

        taylor…- I understand that. Sorry my misstatement about the number of samples. I’m not sure and If I’m incorrect I apologize. But I thought it was 2 separate samples taken at the same time or 1 sample basically divided into 2 so that it can be tested at a later date if necessary.

        Regardless as has been reported by various news and media outlets MLB has never overturned the results of a players positive drug test. Like I said above and you said/implied Braun deserves to have his side of the story heard.

        But like I also said where there is smoke there is generally fire. And I don’t think “I didn’t know what I was taking” or “it was an innocent mistake” changes the facts at least for me it doesn’t. In my opinion with the stigma that is now attached to being caught using PED’s in professional sports if there is even a tiny bit of doubt about what you are putting in your body don’t use it. Period.

      • taylornick3 - Dec 11, 2011 at 11:55 AM

        Uyf, I agree, and If I sounded terse I did not mean to be, just meant to clarify because testing positive twice over a time span is far more damning than a second more rigorous test on one single sample. No worries, and again, if I sounded terse it’s more my anger at Braun for putting himself in this position than a slight misunderstanding.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 11, 2011 at 11:57 AM

        Regardless as has been reported by various news and media outlets MLB has never overturned the results of a players positive drug test

        Careful with this. As Jay Jaffe notes in this piece*, While it is believed that no positive test finding has been overturned in the short history of MLB’s drug testing program, it is more accurate to say that no positive test finding that has been made public has been overturned. The possibility exists that there have been situations where players were exonerated via the appeals process — due to false positives or other anomalies — without news of the original positive becoming public. Splitting hairs, but it does make a difference.

        *http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=15654#commentMessage

        Also as Jaffe notes, ESPN and/or the reporters involved could do everyone a favor by clearing up the testing issue. Was it the B Sample that was sent for more rigorous testing, or was it a second test entirely?

      • uyf1950 - Dec 11, 2011 at 12:46 PM

        taylor…, no problem. I didn’t take your comment as terse.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 11, 2011 at 12:56 PM

        church…, duly noted. But I think your comment is more appropriate and should be aimed at the media and sports outlets that have been reporting on the incident.

  2. ricofoy - Dec 11, 2011 at 9:44 AM

    Give the guy a break. Obviously, he shoots blanks in the sack and needed a little help. Now he needs to be introduced to Manny and his fertility drugs and they can make a baby!

  3. eaglebobby - Dec 11, 2011 at 10:18 AM

    This is just like the JC Romero case. Romero was a relief pitcher for the Phils from 08-11. Just before the 08 Series, he tested positive, and he had his appeal heard after the WS that year. He purchased an approved vitamin supplement in New Jersey that didn’t list the banned substance on the ingredients on the label. No matter–MLB said he should have known what he was taking and suspended him for 50 games in ’09.

  4. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 11, 2011 at 11:27 AM

    As a father, I take the use of prohibited substances seriously, because I know the effects they can have on the body and on a person’s life. I want the Milwaukee community to know that we support drug testing not only because it is MLB policy but because it is the right thing to do.

    Hey here’s a novel idea. If you are a father and worried about the effects of substances on people, why not start a crusade against all the DUI crap going on. Alcohol related deaths far exceed those from steroids, yet we don’t hear any of this grandstanding when players/managers/GMs get busted. Get your priorities straight.

    • chrisny3 - Dec 11, 2011 at 12:43 PM

      Huh? Who says Attanasio is on a “crusade” against PEDs? Are you saying one can’t take a moral stand against an evil if there is a greater evil in the world? That’s inane.

      Also, a DUI is an off-the-field issue. It is primarily a personal issue. PEDs is an issue that goes to the core of the game in terms of ensuring an even playing field. Apples and oranges.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 11, 2011 at 12:54 PM

        Crusade was the wrong word, I’ve been known to get a bit hyperbolic. However my point still stands, why doesn’t he speak out against a far more prevalent evil in DUIs than PEDs?

        As for it being an on the field issue, why bring up the fact that he’s a father and is concerned with the effects PEDs have on the body? The side effects from steroids won’t show up for years for these players if they abuse them, let alone how much longer, if at all, if they cycle their use. It’s disingenuous to say he’s speaking out only because it’s an on the field issue.

        Also, DUI’s can and do kill hundreds of thousands of people, including the driver. Having a player die will likely affect the on field product, don’t you think?

      • chrisny3 - Dec 11, 2011 at 1:22 PM

        I still don’t get your point. Why stop at DUI’s then? Why not bash him for failing to mention pedophilia, murder, rape, incest, and genocide then? Those things are all worse than DUIs. Why does it have to be one or the other? The issue was Braun’s test results — not DUI or anything else. So he comments about the relevant topic. And he appropriately took a stand.

        why bring up the fact that he’s a father and is concerned with the effects PEDs have on the body? The side effects from steroids won’t show up for years for these players if they abuse them

        Because in addition to giving some athletes an unfair advantage, they CAN have serious harmful physical side effects? As for effects showing up only years later, those who noticed gross changes in Bonds body around 2000 would beg to disagree.

        Also, DUI’s can and do kill hundreds of thousands of people, including the driver. Having a player die will likely affect the on field product, don’t you think?

        Yeah, and war and genocide kill even more. Having a player die does not impact an even playing field. DUIs are a separate issue and no one with half a brain condones them. Your trying to mix the issue of DUIs and PEDs is disingenuous or just totally inane.

  5. great8brewer - Dec 11, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    Remember folks, in America you are guilty until proven innocent so let’s let it play out and then make judgements.

    • franbotel - Dec 11, 2011 at 5:41 PM

      unless the media is not fond of u like barry bonds and jose bautista

  6. lookatthefarside - Dec 11, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    There needs to be a separate HOF for Cheaters.

    • great8brewer - Dec 11, 2011 at 4:49 PM

      guaranty you 95 percent of the players in the HOF cheated in some way, shape or form during their career. Its usually the ones who aren’t cheating that dont get in!

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