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Ryan Braun’s testosterone levels were “insanely high,” says source close to the MVP outfielder

Dec 11, 2011, 5:06 PM EDT

ryan braun wide getty Getty Images

Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun is passionately fighting a positive performance-enhancing drug test result that would land him a 50-game suspension if upheld at an arbitration hearing in January. His side of the story: the result was false — a false positive.

Braun told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel late Saturday night that he’s “completely innocent” of using synthetic testosterone, and now a source close to the 2011 National League MVP has suggested to Teri Thompson of the New York Daily News that the results of the positive test were too high to be taken seriously. As in, they were at a dangerous level.

Here’s more from Thompson and the Daily News:

Ryan Braun’s original test for performance-enhancing drugs as the playoffs were winding down in October was “insanely high, the highest ever for anyone who has ever taken a test, twice the level of the highest test ever taken,” said a source familiar with the developing case in which Ryan was reported to have tested positive for an elevated level of testosterone caused by a synthetic substance, triggering a possible 50-game suspension.

The never-before-seen ratio, according to the source, is one of several “highly unusual circumstances.”

Braun will likely enlist doctors and health experts to help plead his case — that an elite athlete wouldn’t mess around with such crazy levels of testosterone. But here’s the other side: Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports spoke Sunday with a source connected to the World Anti-Doping Agency — a group of scientists who got a look at Braun’s test sample — and was told that a false-positive is “almost impossible.”

Also, a source told the Daily News that Major League Baseball has never overturned a PED test appeal. Players are 0-for-13. So even if the almost-impossible happened, it might not really matter for Braun.

  1. brewcrewfan54 - Dec 11, 2011 at 5:23 PM

    They have an appeal process for a reason. I hope he’s telling the truth. If he’s guilty though he’ll serve his suspension just like everybody else has had to.

    • lovesmesomeme - Dec 11, 2011 at 6:48 PM

      Yep, he will serve it cussing out his chemist and hiring someone who will give him something else that wont be detected. The stakes are to high not to cheat.

      • pjmarn6 - Dec 12, 2011 at 1:00 AM

        Remember the murder case not too long ago, when the defendant said he was too fat to travel all the distance from his home to the murder scene and then drive all the way back to his home?

        Hmmmmmmm forgot he injected himself once and doubled up on the second injection?

        .405 post season batting average is damn good. Matter of fact all his 2011 stats are surprisingly high. Maybe he wasn’t that fat.

      • tkole13 - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:28 AM

        Actually, other than his average and on-base percentage, his 2011 stats where about his career average.

  2. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 11, 2011 at 5:35 PM

    And a source has told Jay Jaffe that tests have been overturned. Let’s try to report both sides.

    • phillyphreak - Dec 11, 2011 at 6:10 PM

      Kevin Goldstein also has tweeted this same thing today. And Jimmy Rollins too.

      • lovesmesomeme - Dec 11, 2011 at 6:33 PM

        Finally something that will shut those GD wining cardinal fans up. To bad its about the Hebrew Hammer cheating. Cant say I blame him though. Happy Hannukah.

      • lovesmesomeme - Dec 11, 2011 at 6:52 PM

        1. Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-hei-nu Me-lech ha-olam a-sher ki-de-sha-nu be-mitz-vo-tav ve-tzi-va-nu le-had-lik ner Cha-nu-kah.

        2. Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-hei-nu Me-lech Ha-olam she-a-sa ni-sim la-avo-tei-nu ba-ya-mim ha-heim bi-zman ha-zeh.

        3. Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-hei-nu Me-lech Ha-olam she-hechi-ya-nu ve-ki-yi-ma-nu ve-higi-a-nu liz-man ha-zeh.

  3. jrspike - Dec 11, 2011 at 5:40 PM

    Well he will say if true it would have killed him, hmmm. Does the World Doping no more about this than his Md. I can find an MD in the am. That will state that there is no way. If he gets this overturned
    Then let’s just throw out the whole testing

    • JBerardi - Dec 11, 2011 at 6:15 PM

      More literacy, please.

    • lovesmesomeme - Dec 11, 2011 at 6:44 PM

      I think TLR is drunk typing again.

      • JBerardi - Dec 11, 2011 at 7:26 PM

        Drunk? I think he’s moved to something stronger.

  4. mojosmagic - Dec 11, 2011 at 5:46 PM

    The only people defending Braun are Brewer fans and I understand that but this is starting to really look bad. The fact Braun’s people have gone on a mega media campaign only makes it look worse. Baseball doesn’t need this and they have no reason to “get” MVP Braun so keep you mouth shut and file your appeal.

    • brewcrewfan54 - Dec 11, 2011 at 6:09 PM

      They’ve gone on a media campaign bevause they have had no choice. The appeal is alread underway and I assume they were hoping it would have been kept quiet as it was supposed to have been until the appeal has been followed through. PED’s is a guilty until proven innocent situation and so they are forced to defend themselves because silence would be considered an admition of guilt to the press and public opinion. In the meantime, MLB seems to have a hard time keeping confidential tests confidential. That should be raising red flags to people also.

      • vanmorrissey - Dec 11, 2011 at 6:14 PM

        BS. Doubt you’d say that if your handle did not include brewcrew…apologist. Get over it, he’s going to sit for some period of time and deserves to. Confidentiality gets thrown out the window if its the NL MVP.

      • JBerardi - Dec 11, 2011 at 6:17 PM

        “Confidentiality gets thrown out the window if its the NL MVP.”

        And this is a good thing?

      • brewcrewfan54 - Dec 11, 2011 at 6:23 PM

        Yea I’ve made it no secret I am a Brewer fan. And since I know you can read you should go to the first comment on this thread and read the part where I say if he is guilty he will serve his suspension as everyone else that has tested positive has had to do.

      • kopy - Dec 11, 2011 at 6:23 PM

        I’m not a Brewers fan, and this is the murkiest, most unclear PED test there could possibly be. He may be guilty as hell, but that certainly isn’t clear as of right now.

      • paperlions - Dec 11, 2011 at 7:51 PM

        I’m a Cardinal fan and don’t care much for Braun, and I am willing to wait to see what come of this before passing judgement.

        While procedures are pretty good, errors do still occur…and I am willing to let the appeal process play out….considering some of the weird things people are claiming about his test results. It has nothing to do being a homer and everything to do with wanting to know what is true before throwing stones.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 11, 2011 at 7:32 PM

      Are we? Kevin S and I are Yankee fans and we’ve asked for people to wait as things seemed too fishy. cur68 is a beaver fan and our resident chemist, and he’s doing the same.

      The fact Braun’s people have gone on a mega media campaign only makes it look worse

      This is quite possibly one of the dumbest comments ever on this board. If you were falsely accused of something that could ruin your reputation for life, your advice would be to stay quiet about it and not say a word?

      • cur68 - Dec 12, 2011 at 12:33 AM

        psst, church: I’m only a chemist insofar as I have a basic understanding of how steroids are produced & detected. I’m much better with their various actions in humans. Most of this is from the course of administering the stuff to very unwell infants and research back in the day when I wanted to see if Floyd Landis was getting jobbed by a false positive test or not. Lucky for me its actually easy to understand most of the science involved & since I work with the stuff daily I’m always having to look up information on drug compatibilities. Nothing specialized about my chemistry knowledge at all: I’m hopelessly incompetent with inorganic chemistry and don’t even get me started at how bad I am with drawing compounds based on their chemical names.

        Other than that, yeah, I say wait on more information before declaring him a PED cheat. It’s by no means a lock that he is & it doesn’t take any specialized knowledge to come to that conclusion.

  5. plmathfoto - Dec 11, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    Let’s see how much of a homer Bud Selig is, if the Brewers get preferential treatment here, wow!

  6. snowbirdgothic - Dec 11, 2011 at 6:24 PM

    WADA’s behavior towards MLB has been less than entirely above-board in the past. I’m not a Brewers fan, but I’d rather let due process play out instead of rushing to judgment based on the word of any of the concerned parties. I’ll reserve my dislike for whoever leaked this story to ESPN – I don’t care if you’re NL MVP, the second lefty in the Marlins’ pen, or the kid who used to wrangle Godzooky on that cartoon show, your legal rights need to be respected.

    • JBerardi - Dec 11, 2011 at 8:37 PM

      “I don’t care if you’re NL MVP, the second lefty in the Marlins’ pen, or the kid who used to wrangle Godzooky on that cartoon show, your legal rights need to be respected.”

      Who cares about “rights” when there’s cheap, sanctimonious moralizing to be done?

  7. tjg25 - Dec 11, 2011 at 6:25 PM

    I’m sure he’s innocent. I mean he’s not Barry Bonds.

    • areyesrn - Dec 11, 2011 at 7:54 PM

      his testosterone was high simply because he’s such a macho man

    • JBerardi - Dec 11, 2011 at 8:15 PM

      Be a good American/sports fan and remember that Good guys like Braun are good guys and bad guys like Barry Bonds are bad.

  8. mattjg - Dec 11, 2011 at 6:33 PM

    Well if an unbiased organization like WADA says false positives don’t happen, then I’m convinced. But don’t listen to me; I had a beer earlier today, so I’m probably drunk. MADD told me so.

    • JBerardi - Dec 11, 2011 at 8:30 PM

      More breaking news: the National Diary Council says that milk is good for you, Microsoft says Windows is the best operating system for you, and George Lucas says you’d really like the new Star Wars box set.

      Well, at least those milk assholes might be honest…

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 11, 2011 at 10:04 PM

        Well, at least those milk assholes might be honest…

        o rly?

      • JBerardi - Dec 11, 2011 at 11:07 PM

        Yeah, no, milk is totally not good for you. But it’s still less toxic than Greedo shooting first.

      • JBerardi - Dec 11, 2011 at 11:08 PM

        Also I want to know how you got a YouTube video to embed.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 12, 2011 at 12:16 AM

        I just copy/paste the entire url

      • wendell7 - Dec 12, 2011 at 7:43 AM

        thumbs up for the Snatch movie reference. one of my faves

  9. qcubed3 - Dec 11, 2011 at 6:37 PM

    If I was dating his girlfriend, my testosterone levels would be insanely high as well.

    • Old Gator - Dec 11, 2011 at 6:55 PM

      Are you kidding? A few more points and he would have grown an extra Y chromosome.

  10. sportsbastard - Dec 11, 2011 at 7:01 PM

    I knew those bug eyes weren’t natural. But is he a juicer? Or a “Jew-cer”

    • koufaxmitzvah - Dec 11, 2011 at 7:18 PM

      If it helps your prognosis, you are a certifiable shmuck. 3 inches, I believe, when fully aroused.

    • orangeflh - Dec 11, 2011 at 11:25 PM

      What a maroon. Leave the man’s faith out of this.

  11. johnnyb1976 - Dec 11, 2011 at 7:08 PM

    Joey Votto didn’t have to cheat to win MVP. Braun is a classless cheater and should have the MVP stripped from him and it should be given to Kemp. Let’s face it if it wasn’t for Kemp the dodgers would have lost 100 games. He was easily the best player in the NL last season

    • Old Gator - Dec 11, 2011 at 11:10 PM

      Why the thumbs down? He’s right. if these test results are upheld, why not strip his MVP and give it to Kemp? Let there be some real consequences to cheating even beyond the suspensions. There’s no reason to pamper someone who disgraces himself and his profession.

      • obpedmypants - Dec 11, 2011 at 11:44 PM

        >Joey Votto didn’t have to cheat to win MVP.

        I would thumbs down that, but I don’t thumbs down anyone. Who’s to say votto isn’t cheating too?

      • comeonnowguys - Dec 12, 2011 at 9:20 AM

        No doubt. To assume that nobody is cheating anymore is knee-jerk naivete.

  12. franbotel - Dec 11, 2011 at 7:23 PM

    He can always go with the Brian Cushing Overtrained Athlete Syndrome crap.

  13. purnellmeagrejr - Dec 11, 2011 at 7:25 PM

    I also have “insanely high” testosterone levels – women FEEL it when I enter a room – are afflicted with a strange ennui when I leave. Mr Braun – judging from his picture above – can easily be imagined to have a similar effect on women.My guess is that – like me – he comes by this surplus of masculine power naturally. Ciao.

    • mattjg - Dec 11, 2011 at 7:45 PM

      …., you guys” – @DadBoner

    • Old Gator - Dec 11, 2011 at 11:08 PM

      You sound like Sterling Hayden in Dr. Strangelove, Purnell.

      • purnellmeagrejr - Dec 12, 2011 at 7:48 AM

        yes, I do conserve precious bodily fluids.

  14. dirtyharry1971 - Dec 11, 2011 at 7:48 PM

    i wonder what Jose Batista’s level’s where this past season

    • JBerardi - Dec 11, 2011 at 8:21 PM

      Apparently they were fine because he didn’t fail a drug test.

      All you people who are SURE Bautista must be a product of steroids? I notice your amazing ability to know exactly which players are using completely failed you on Braun. In other words, you don’t know what you’re taking about and you’re just using steroids as a convenient, lazy, yet impossible-to-disprove argument for all your pre-existing biases. It’s pathetic.

      • cur68 - Dec 12, 2011 at 12:55 AM

        Aww, don’t be mad at ‘harry. He fails all kinds of tests: aptitude, suitability, relationship, IQ etc…fails them all, poor fella. He just jealous…

  15. a125125125 - Dec 11, 2011 at 7:59 PM

    “I’m too drunk to fail this road side test.”
    –If TLR thought like Ryan Braun

  16. ispysomething7 - Dec 11, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    Remember folks, Palmerio didn’t juice either.

    • JBerardi - Dec 11, 2011 at 8:33 PM

      And remember that Andy Pettitte DID juice but really he didn’t because… you know, he just didn’t. Never happened.

      • dondada10 - Dec 11, 2011 at 9:13 PM

        Same with Pudge Rodriguez.

      • JBerardi - Dec 11, 2011 at 11:11 PM

        Pudge never failed a test or admitted anything, did he?

  17. tandem4ever - Dec 11, 2011 at 10:00 PM

    What? Did Ryan eat 50 matzo balls before the test? Oh the humor!! No, seriously, folks, maybe it was that glass of Manischewitz before the game. Oh, stop me somebody, stop me!!

  18. tdurk34 - Dec 11, 2011 at 10:13 PM

    Funny ESPN can’t wait to run to the public with confidential damaging information about PED’s but sit on the Bernie Fine story for 8 years! So Braun may have hit a few extra HR’s
    , but you paste it all over your networks, splash it on every outlet you can, but CHILDRENS lives are ruined and you sit on it for eight years? Your network should be embarrassed

  19. tuftsb - Dec 11, 2011 at 10:13 PM

    Who made the statement that the levels were “insanely high”? A person close to the case or a medical professional? I would hope that it was someone in the medical profession that could actually speak to the subject. And if it was one of the doctors or lab technicians involved, how do HIPAA and state laws regarding medical privacy come in?

    My recommendation for Braun is to immediately do some ads for to make up for the salary he may lose in 2012……

    • brewcrewfan54 - Dec 12, 2011 at 12:33 AM

      Come on, HIPPA hasn’t been in play in MLB since the Mitchell report.

  20. Chris Fiorentino - Dec 11, 2011 at 10:36 PM

    I keep people writing that Braun should sue ESPN if this turns out to be wrong. Well, since this is supposed to be a confidential process, shouldn’t he be allowed to sue whether it ends up being true or not? I mean, somebody has to grow some stones and haul someone into court and force someone into going to jail for contempt…shouldn’t they? The guys who exposed this on OTL got information from someone who should not have exposed it. Shouldn’t they haul the guys into court and make them tell, under threat of contempt? It is a confidential process and if they are serious about it, they should do this. Otherwise, the “confidentiality” is nothing more than a sham.

    • JBerardi - Dec 11, 2011 at 11:12 PM

      But why should rules and laws matter when sports fans want to know stuff?

  21. obpedmypants - Dec 11, 2011 at 11:48 PM

    Braun still gets millions of dollars right? Fact of the matter is that I’m sure taking steroids was the best decision of his life. Unfortunately for him, he got caught eventually, but not before inking a huge contract.

    • brewcrewfan54 - Dec 12, 2011 at 12:39 AM

      The funny thing is is that if I could take a pill to make myself the best at my job I would do ot on almost a heartbeat also. Its funny how people think baseball players are so bas when most of us would do the same. Wanting to be the best isn’t just for athletes we just dont make the same kind of money.

  22. mlblogsdanieldavidkaiser - Dec 12, 2011 at 6:48 AM

    it’s amazing how ESPN is so quick to leak this kind of information, but when they know of rampant pedophiles they tend to keep quiet and protect my most dispicible people. Nice work ESPN…keep setting that bar as high as you do.

  23. hjworton46 - Dec 12, 2011 at 8:30 AM

    If Braun is proven guilty beyond doubt then a 50 game ban seems far too light. Surely life bans would prove a far more effective deterrent ?

    • stoutfiles - Dec 12, 2011 at 11:32 AM

      Then you’d have hardcore fans trying to covertly drug opposing players they hate. I do think that a 50 game penalty is too light though.

  24. johngaltwho - Dec 12, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    I just hope its not true. I liked rooting for him. We’ll see I guess. It will be really disappointing if its confirmed. I wonder if I’ll ever really believe he didnt cheat even if he “wins” an appeal. Sad.

  25. Amadeus - Dec 12, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    Braun must have the same lawyer as Clemens. Deny, deny, deny. He’ll lose his appeal, serve the 50 and the fans will be cheering by July when he has 20 homers and is batting .300. As for the MVP award, if he’s proven guilty, it should be taken away from him.

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