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Dan Patrick clarifies his comments about Ryan Braun being “innocent”

Jan 24, 2012, 1:32 PM EDT

NLCS Cardinals Brewers Baseball AP

In law school they teach you the difference between “innocent” and “not guilty” pretty quickly. Dan Patrick didn’t go to law school, so forgive him for not having that down pat. Today — Via Tom Haurdricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel — he clarifies his comments from yesterday regarding Ryan Braun and “innocence”:

“I want to clarify something I said about Ryan Braun yesterday,” said Patrick. “What I should have said is he could be found not guilty.

“I said (Monday) that Ryan Braun could be, COULD BE, found innocent. The test could be thrown out. I’m getting bits and pieces of what’s going on behind the scenes. We’ve been waiting for information on this.

“If they throw out the test, now this is IF, he could be found not guilty, not innocent. Maybe it’s semantics but I want to correct myself with that. I think there’s a little bit more to the story here.

“Once again, he could be found not guilty, not necessarily innocent.”

Being “not guilty” could simply mean that there was no evidence that he intentionally took a performance-enhancer. He could still, however, have his positive drug test upheld in the same way J.C. Romero‘s was, with a decision that it was inadvertent (i.e. a positive sample constituting a lack of innocence).  Because MLB’s drug policy is strict liability, however, he would still be suspended because intention has nothing to do with it.

And you know what? It probably wouldn’t matter. Because I have this feeling that those who judge the PED guys negatively care way more about the stature of the person in question as opposed to the nature of his specific transgression.  Look at how much more flak the famous guys in the Mitchell Report took compared to the random scrubs.  It’s all about sensationalism, not circumstance.

Prediction: If Ryan Braun is “not guilty” of intentionally taking PEDs, but is still suspended due to inadvertent taking of a tainted supplement or something, he will still be treated by many in the media and the public at large like a cheater because he’s a superstar.  It shouldn’t be that way, but I bet that’s how it goes.

  1. Old Gator - Jan 24, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    I’d like someone to compile a list of over-the-counter supplements and medications, all perfectly legal, that might cause the MLB test to snap shut like a mousetrap on some players’ reputation. Same with prescription medications for genuine medical issues like ADD (Dexadrine, for example).

    • lardin - Jan 24, 2012 at 1:40 PM

      If you have a medical condition, you get your doctor to write a letter to MLB asking for an exemption. Depending on the situation and the documentation provided MLB will grant a waiver and you even if you get caught, you wont be suspended. Its not all that complicated. As a baseball player you have November through early February to get this done…

    • grapes911 - Jan 24, 2012 at 1:43 PM

      MLB players do have a hotline available where they can call and find out if a particular supplement or drug is banned and will cause a failed test. A complete list must be out there.

      • Walk - Jan 24, 2012 at 11:54 PM

        That 1800 number is a bunch of bs that should never have been allowed in any agreement. How would you like to have to call a number every time you try a new over the counter cold medicine, maybe some of the food grown with whatever supplements they are using to make the animals grow quickly, new body lotion or shampoo. I could go on but that world anti doping guide lines they are using is terrible. Bottom line is if it is available over the counter and to the general public there is no cause to point fingers or ban it. Just because you are famous and get paid for it there is no reason to surrender any type of freedom. Yes i know things like the expectation of privacy for public figures has gone out the window but these things need to be curtailed.

    • sasquash20 - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:06 PM

      He had a synthetic testosterone in his system. Guilty. If he gets off it is an injustice to the game of baseball. I just hope this stuff stops. Kemp should have been the MVP anyway.

      • cur68 - Jan 24, 2012 at 4:06 PM

        ignore rant

      • Roger Moore - Jan 24, 2012 at 5:39 PM

        Not quite. Tests detected synthetic testosterone in his urine. In the absence of other evidence we assume that it got there from his body, but one possible defense would be that the urine was contaminated or tampered with. If he could actually prove that the urine was tampered with, that would prove his innocence. If he can show that there’s not a proper chain of evidence for the urine, we can’t be 100% sure that the urine that was tested is his, which should be enough to give him a not guilty. Either one of those things would be tough to prove, but they’re at least conceivable.

      • rje49 - Jan 24, 2012 at 6:41 PM

        Sashquash, do you know anything about synthetic testosterone? How many people here really know what synthetic testosterone is?
        By doctor’s prescription, I’ve been injecting it for 12 years now, and I haven’t noticed any significant muscle growth yet, not that that’s the purpose. The male body needs a certain level, and my body wasn’t producing enough, thus I needed to suppliment it via a synthetic form. I can happen to anyone, even a professional baseball player – with permission.
        cur, you’re right.

      • sasquash20 - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:15 PM

        I know nothing about synthetic testosterone rje49. I’m not being a smart ass, I really know nothing about it. But I know that when I see a ball player test positive for something like that I assume he is guilty. Sorry but Big Mac, Bonds, Sosa ect ruined my view of ball players being honest and straight forward. I hope I’m wrong because Braun appears to be a good dude but I just doubt I am.

        Cur68 stop being a douche bag. It was a message not a rant. You have had a hard on saying something neg in about 75 percent of anything I type. I’m sorry I called A-Rod Gayrod, and I’m sorry that I called all Mets fans gay. Now get off my back douche.

  2. dlindstedt2 - Jan 24, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    Even if Braun is found not guilty/innocent his career/life is altered.

    We aren’t supposed to know this is going on, that is what people forget. This was all a leak. We aren’t even supposed to even be where we are at.
    So from now on, we always have to question Braun, I for one, think he didn’t do it, but ultimately, someone will forever question it.

    Now say he plays at the level he has been playing, and continues at the pace, and is considered in the HOF, now the writers will be hesitant to include him. Even if he was innocent. That is sad.

    Next goes beyong baseball, and his endorsements. Those potential clients are gone, because innocent or not, they dont want to associate their brands with that. His life is forever altered by all of this.

    Simply, its sad what has happened. This goes beyond baseball. We are looking at a guys life that is now forever altered because some asshat put himself above the game. And no, I was not talking about Braun, I was talking about the guy who leaked the information.

    • alang3131982 - Jan 24, 2012 at 1:59 PM

      Braun isnt going to come up for the Hall of Fame in a really long time. Lots of things change.

      I’m not overly concerned he’s going to get the Bagwell treatment. I imagine most of those voters will be long and gone by then and the whole steroids thing will be put to bed. I really dont think this will hurt his legacy if found innocent.

    • sasquash20 - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:12 PM

      synthetic testosterone bro! Yeah he didn’t do anything wrong. Please these athletes know exactly what they put in there body. And don’t tell me about endorsements because didn’t he just sign a 100 million dollar plus deal before he got caught cheating? He knew exactly what he was doing and he only regrets getting caught. He got his contract, so I really could careless how people view him the rest of his life. This ASSHAT Braun knew exactly what he had to do to get a 100 million plus bro!

      • nightman13 - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:28 PM

        sasquash, you really are ignorant. I am assuming you don’t live in Wisconsin, and I am also completely positive you know nothing about him as a person.

        I do live in Wisconsin and I do know a lot about him as a person. He took a below market deal to stay with the team rather than go the Prince Fielder route and leave for more money. Also, he has been very outspoken against PEDs and has been tested all through the minors and never tested positive.

        There are plenty of medical reasons for having synthetic testosterone in your body, if that’s even true. Remember, all this information was leaked by somebody wanting to make a quick buck. None of what has been released has been confirmed by anybody.

        So go ahead and spew your uninformed garbage, but I bet if he is found not guilty we won’t see you here owning up to your comments.

      • sasquash20 - Jan 24, 2012 at 3:45 PM

        He wouldn’t be the first hypocrite who was against something only to find out that he is a cheater himself. I get it nightman13 you like the guy, your probably a Brewers fan and I understand completely. I was 13 when half of my beloved 93 Phillies were rumored to be juiced up. The truth hurts bro. You are right I don’t know him as a person. And he may be the nicest guy on the planet, but it looks very much like he cheated to me. If I’m wrong I will post so.

        As to the contract that he signed that is so team friendly your wrong. It averages out to be about 21 million a year. That number is one of the highest numbers ever signed by an outfielder. At the time it was signed it was 2nd only to M.Ramierez’s deal for average annual salary for an outfielder. Not exactly team friendly. You are right that he may have been able to go and get more money else where but not that much more. And once this came out I would bet he would be lucky to get the 105 million he got.

        It is true that there are many reasons one could have synthetic testosterone in there body. But he is a MLB player and if a doctor ordered it I’m sure he won’t be suspended. But if a doctor didn’t then he is a cheater. I can’t blame him, I would want a 105 million dollar deal too. Good for him.

      • yardleyphils - Jan 24, 2012 at 4:42 PM

        @nightman13

        “There are plenty of medical reasons for having synthetic testosterone in your body”

        name one

      • badmamainphilliesjamas - Jan 24, 2012 at 4:48 PM

        Why, oh why did sasquatch have to be a Phillies fan?

      • rje49 - Jan 24, 2012 at 6:47 PM

        “There are plenty of medical reasons for having synthetic testosterone in your body”

        name one

        Here’s one -your body doesn’t natually produce the needed amount. A rather common occurance. What to do? Your doctor prescribes synthetic testosterone, and you inject it on a regular basis -like I have for 12 years.

    • somekat - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:39 PM

      I’m sorry, is the point of your post that we should feel sorry for Braun because he will have to live off the millions he has already made, and the 100 million plus contract he just signed? This all coming because he was caught cheating?

      This ISN’T J.C. Romero where the failing chemical had no real effect on how he played. It was something that is sometimes used as a masking agent. This is synthetic testosterone. This is the most, or close to, altering thing out of all the “performance enhancers” out there. If after the last 10 years, and everything that has gone on, Braun doesn’t know that it is 100% his responsibility to know exactly what goes in to his body (this is assuming you are making this HUGE leap of faith that he didn’t), then he should get an extra 20 games for stupidity

      • cur68 - Jan 24, 2012 at 4:10 PM

        So far, the only reliable information we have is that he failed WADA style testing. WHY he failed is still up for grabs. Its possible to fail those tests without using synthetic testosterone. Just wait for the details before creaming the guy.

    • Barb Caffrey - Jan 24, 2012 at 11:24 PM

      Whomever leaked the test was flat wrong. I hope whomever it was will be found out and will be fired, then I hope Braun and his team sue that person to the limits of the law. (IOW, I agree completely with your post, dlindstedt2. And FWIW I’ve said all along that I believe Braun is innocent.)

  3. Jonny 5 - Jan 24, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    25 days, that’s been my call. He has an “excuse” and he’ll have his punishment cut in half because of this.

    • Francisco (FC) - Jan 24, 2012 at 1:55 PM

      Romero was offered 25 Days if he admitted guilt but he balked (he!) because the guy felt he was being railroaded (After all, he consulted two nutritional specialists and the folks at MLBPA). In the end though, maybe he should’ve just called the hot line, that there would have been the extra mile and if the hot line had told him it was fine then it would have been MLBs fault for not having a complete and up to date list of products with banned substances.

      • Jonny 5 - Jan 24, 2012 at 3:40 PM

        MLB doesn’t want to get involved with compiling a list because too many new supplements hit the market every week. Then they must rely on the makers to keep their product “clean” of banned substances, because these products are so loosely regulated by our gov’t. I don’t even think the hot line would have helped in Romero’s case because there was nothing banned listed on the ingredients.

  4. alang3131982 - Jan 24, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    Here’s the thing. Even if Braun unwittingly took something on the banned substance list, he’s cheating. I’ll wait till the facts come out on this before judging this particular instance and I dont really care whether he took something or not. I imagine hundreds of players get away with something every year.

    However, it really shouldnt matter whether a player knows something is banned or not. As a member of society you are required to know every law, pleading ignorance wont get you off a bizarre traffic violation. Much the same, as a baseball player you should know everything that is on the banned substance list. If you take something, unwittingly, it’s your fault for not doing the due diligence.

    I suppose if Braun took something for a particular medical reason and was told that wouldnt violate the drug policy, then it’s a grey area. But, really, why does it matter if he knew what he was taking was against the rules, taking it is against the rules…

    • nategearhart - Jan 24, 2012 at 3:13 PM

      “Even if Braun unwittingly took something on the banned substance list, he’s cheating.”

      This is incorrect. If he didn’t know he took it, it may be unfair, but it isn’t cheating.

    • maverick8948 - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:34 PM

      cheat:
      Verb:
      Act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage, esp. in a game or examination: “she cheats at cards”.
      Noun:
      A person who behaves dishonestly in order to gain an advantage.

      So can you explain to me how “Even if he unwittingly took something on the banned substance list, he’s cheating”?

      The definition pretty clearly requires an act; i.e. intent.

  5. scragystmb - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    I like Braun but he got caught they did the test 2 times and failed both times. I always wondered why eyes looked as they where going to pop out of his head.

    • ufullpj - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:54 PM

      Actually, they did two tests – the first test had an A & B sample, both tested for an insanely high testosterone level. A subsequent test was normal.

      There’s way, way too much noise about this right now to separate faction from fiction, reality from rumor. ESPN jumped the gun by breaking “news” that was only half-baked, and DP probably added to the fire on the other side.

      None of us know the story yet, and unfortunately, Braun is prohibited from commenting publicly while the appeal is still being considered.

      Bottom line – no sense jumping to conclusions in any event until all the facts are rendered.

    • oldmanmillerlite - Jan 24, 2012 at 5:35 PM

      Apparently youve never heard of Graves Desease. Look it up and tell me what one of the biggest signs are of it. And what is used to treat it.

  6. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    Once MLB allows an exception, every player who is ever busted will claim the same thing happened to them. If Manny was let off the hook because he really was just trying to conceive a child within his womb, every other player in MLB would suddenly hear their biological clock ticking as well.

    Forgive me if I have little sympathy for any guy who “accidentally” took a banned substance. Braun is a millionaire. He is a millionaire because he has a job that has some pretty specific rules about what he can and can’t put into his body. He can and should hire someone to make GD sure that he is not violating that policy.

    Re “over the counter supplements: Why are these guys buying anything over the counter at GNC? They work for teams that have full medical staffs. Ask the staff what you should take, ask the MLBPA what you should take. If it does not come from one of those 2 sources, consider it shady and take it at your peril.

    • Francisco (FC) - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:21 PM

      “Ask the staff what you should take, ask the MLBPA what you should take. If it does not come from one of those 2 sources, consider it shady and take it at your peril.”

      Ask J.C. Romero how that went for him. I say cover your behind by calling the drug hotline and keep a recording of the conversation, if something happens you can say you followed all the rules and it was MLB that goofed.

  7. muskyhunter2542 - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    Queue the jelous haters!!!

    • El Bravo - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:44 PM

      Cue the poor spellers!

  8. randygnyc - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    Nightman, you said there are several reasons why synthetic testosterone could be in his system. I’d love to know what those reasons are.

    • somekat - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:44 PM

      1, he is not a real person, and he is in fact, synthetic
      2, he slipped and fell, and just happened to land on a fully loaded syringe
      3, he wanted to cheat

      Not coming up with much else, sorry

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 24, 2012 at 7:56 PM

        His body produces an abnormally low level of testosterone; therefore, he needs injections to produce a normal level to be a regularly functioning male.

    • cur68 - Jan 24, 2012 at 5:50 PM

      The WADA style urine test isn’t for synthetic testosterone. Its a test for a carbon isotope found in the plant used to make synthetic testosterone. This plant is either sweet potato or soybean. If he got a substance, with soy or sweet potato base, in his sample, it fails, spectacularly fails, the carbon isotope test. This scenario is easy to understand if the rumors of herpes and acyclovir use are true (acyclovir is suspended in a cream which uses a soy product as a cream base: the cream base is called Estrasorb).

      • Roger Moore - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:04 PM

        That’s not quite right. The isotope test is looking at the ratio of 12C to 13C, but it’s looking at both testosterone and other closely related compounds. Failing the test requires both a weird testosterone isotope signature and a substantial difference between the isotope ratio for testosterone and for closely related related compounds. Looking at the isotope ratio difference is there to ensure that athletes can’t get a positive result just because they eat lots of soy or use soy-based topical creams, since those would also shift the isotope ratios for the closely related compounds. I don’t like WADA very much, since I think they’ve turned PEDs into a witch hunt, but they do try very hard to make sure their tests aren’t going to turn up false positives.

      • cur68 - Jan 25, 2012 at 12:53 AM

        As I understand it there are 2 tests. The first tests is for testosterone to epitestosterone ratio (epi is the precursor form of testosterone). This ratio should be no higher than 4:1. If it is higher than 4:1, THEN they start chasing carbon around, looking for plant carbon (a test known as the CIR ratio), which would indicate a synthetic source. Synthetic testosterone and human, naturally produced testosterone, are what are known as “bio-identicals”. You can’t tell them apart except for the funny carbon isotope. Braun needed to fail that first test to trigger the second test. As far as I am aware, the only test (be it blood or urine) for synthetic testosterone is the carbon isotope signature test. If there is some other way to tell apart synthetic from human produced testosterone I have not heard of it.

      • Roger Moore - Jan 25, 2012 at 4:24 PM

        @cur68:
        Yes, there are two tests, the T:E ratio and the CIR test, and the CIR is only performed if the athlete fails the T:E ratio test. My point was that the CIR is a bit more sophisticated than looking at the CIR for testosterone alone. They also look at the difference in CIR results for testosterone and for closely related compounds (the articles I could find didn’t specify exactly which related compounds they look at). The CIR test only counts as positive if the testosterone is out of the expected range and it’s significantly different from the related compounds. That makes it specific for plant based testosterone, rather than plant-based precursors to testosterone, since those would change the ratios for the related compounds, too.

  9. marshmallowsnake - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    “inadvertent taking of a tainted supplement or something” – I do not buy, for a minute, that these players do not know what they are putting in their bodies. Their bodies make them millions! You can damn-well be sure that they know.

  10. trevorb06 - Jan 24, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    If I’m not mistaken, the MLB people said he tested positive for a ‘banned substance’, not a PED. There are multiple banned substances in the MLB such as the obvious in cocaine, steroids and THC. There are also banned substances that are found in many over the counter diet supplements. I’m not an expert and who knows what could have triggered a high testosterone reading, certainly not me. I’m not saying he’s guilty or not guilty. I’m just pointing this out.

  11. pbecker30 - Jan 24, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    you all are idiots who think braun was using roids or ped’s. he was taking medication for herpes or some std and that caused him to fail. back off and give the kid a break, its a shame he has to defend himself against a private medical issue, and his test should have never been made public until they figured it out!!

  12. shaner329 - Jan 24, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    http://espn.go.com/espn/commentary/story/_/page/granderson-120120/the-logic-ryan-braun-positive-drug-test

    Not sure if anyone has read this, but I thought it was an interesting take on the situation

    • oldmanmillerlite - Jan 24, 2012 at 5:44 PM

      This article is not accurate, he seems to not realise Braun didnt test positive for PEDs of any kind.

      • shaner329 - Jan 25, 2012 at 8:23 AM

        I understand that, but I thought the whole premise of the article is interesting.

        What’s to stop a player who signs a huge backloaded contract to use PEDs to benefit him now when he’s making less money (and therefore taking less of a hit when he is suspended) so he can perform better when he is making more money?

        It’s just food for thought.

  13. 24missed - Jan 24, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    I also have experienced taking prescription drugs that have cancelled out the effects of each other. And other drugs that taken together have heightened the side effects of one or the other. I didn’t find out through my doctor that prescribed the drugs, but another doctor.

    Pretty sure that most people have experienced some of these things. Whether it has been yourself or someone you love, reactions and possible interactions are not always explained. It most certainly is the patient’s responsibility to be aware of what they take, but, I’m guilty of not being as on top of my doctor now. There is a level of trust, because of how far he has taken me. Still…

    So, I know, I don’t make Ryan Braun’s money. But, I believe, still, in innocent before proven guilty. The tests might indicate he has substances within his system that are there for reasons that we have no business knowing.

    Eternal optimist here.

  14. cameron poe - Jan 24, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    Does anyone else see this as leading to a much larger problem? The leaking of what should be considered medical information. Some “unnamed” source leaked information about Braun’s test before MLB could verify the results. Now, if like many people claim the treatment of the STD or other medical condition is to blame for the elevated levels then doesn’t MLB have a much larger issue? Braun will have no choice but to surrender private medical information to the public to fight this battle. To clear his name, if he is innocent then his medical records will go public. This is a massive problem. Especially from a league trying to convince players to let them stick a needle in their arms to test for PED’s. The problem here is much larger than whether or not Braun should be held accountable for his alleged PED use, but more to the point of private medical information being leaked fairly easily by MLB insiders. If this is what players (non users) can expect from the governing body of MLB then why on earth would they ever consent to a system this corrupt?

    PED’s are bad for sports and are bad for kids growing up in sports. But leaking medical records or forcing a player to release his records to prove his “innocence” is much worse for our entire society.

  15. adcoop22 - Jan 24, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    As a medical student I am unaware of any STDs that are treated with testosterone, they are usually treated with antibiotics. Some of these antibiotics can interact with other meds, but this would have to imply that they were using these meds. He may have had several medical conditions that would require testosterone but most of these conditions don’t require immediate treatment and are rarely seen in healthy, 30-something year old athletes.

    (If there are grammatical errors blame it on the iPhone)

    • cur68 - Jan 24, 2012 at 5:54 PM

      Look up acyclovir, Estrasorb & soy. Then look up WADA urine testing for synthetic testosterone: you’ll find that its a carbon isotope test for soy carbon. You’d be surprised how easy it might be to fail a test that looks for soy carbon in urine without taking testosterone.

      • adcoop22 - Jan 24, 2012 at 7:18 PM

        First things first, estrasorb has nothing to do with testosterone or acyclovir, unless I have missed something it doesn’t have anything to do with this case because it is in fact estrogen more or less. I have looks into acyclovir and soy, I have not found any relevant research saying the there is soy product used in its production. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t, it just means that the inactive ingredients are not readily available. You are correct in stating the the WADA uses carbon isotopes to identify possible use of testosterone, the issue is that the testosterone that we make and the synthetic version have different carbon number variability, this was the same argument Floyd Landis used and lost. The othe point is that acyclovir is generally administered orally and any soy protein that you argue would be present would be denatured with digestion. So I guess what it boils down to is that it seems you are taking to separate issues and trying to make them one claim that intact has no ground to stand on.

      • cur68 - Jan 25, 2012 at 1:16 AM

        Interesting. Throw this in your search engine:
        “Micellar Nanoparticles:Applications for Topical and Passive Transdermal
        Drug Delivery”.
        You’ll get a quick view option. Click that. In the search field, alternatively type “acyclovir” & “soy”. You’ll find the one is commonly suspended in cream that contains the other.
        Estrasorb is actually an example of the kind of cream that can be made of soy. My mistake, it seems: thanks for the correction.

        I do not mean ingestion. I mean having a topical, acyclovir cream (a soy containing cream) on your body that you then get as a contaminant in your urine specimen. Given the nature of genital herpes, it would be easy to get acyclovir in a urine specimen if the rumor or acyclovir cream use is true. This would then trigger a fail of the carbon isotope test. Thus rendering the reasoning in the rumor plausible.

  16. adcoop22 - Jan 24, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Again, grammar errors are because I can’t see them on my phone, sorry to all

    • cur68 - Jan 25, 2012 at 1:17 AM

      Meh. This isn’t for publication. Anyone that cares about that in this venue isn’t worth paying attention to.

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