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Ryan Braun wins the appeal of his drug suspension

Feb 23, 2012, 5:22 PM EDT

braun tall getty Getty Images

Huge news:  As first reported by Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Ryan Braun has won the appeal of his 50-game suspension for taking a banned substance.  The MLBPA has confirmed.  Braun is the first player to successfully appeal a drug suspension.

Immediately after this news broke, Major League Baseball released a statement, printed in full below, saying that while they “vehemently disagree” with the arbitrator’s decision, it will respect the process.

To which I say: How freaking noble of you to respect the process, Major League Baseball.  And to all of the writers who, in the wake of the leak of Braun’s positive test, demanded that he either give up his MVP award or have it put up to a re-vote, I suppose you should probably revisit that view in light of the appeal.  You know, now that the process has actually run its course and there is a determination you can assess rather than an unauthorized leak to which you can react.

As for Braun and the Brewers: nothing but good news here.  From staring a 50-game suspension in the face to reporting to camp tomorrow as if nothing had happened.  Which, if the integrity of the testing and the appeal process had been respected like it had been in all other cases, would have been totally unremarkable.

Here’s Major League Baseball’s statement:

“Major League Baseball considers the obligations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program essential to the integrity of our game, our Clubs and all of the players who take the field.  It has always been Major League Baseball’s position that no matter who tests positive, we will exhaust all avenues in pursuit of the appropriate discipline.  We have been true to that position in every instance, because baseball fans deserve nothing less.

“As a part of our drug testing program, the Commissioner’s Office and the Players Association agreed to a neutral third party review for instances that are under dispute.  While we have always respected that process, Major League Baseball vehemently disagrees with the decision rendered today by arbitrator Shyam Das.”

We have more coverage of the Braun decision:

See why Braun won his appeal. Hint: it involves a urine sample, a closed Kinko’s and some guy’s refrigerator; and

For anyone who thinks Braun got off on a technicality, well, they have another thing coming.

128 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. neelymessier - Feb 23, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    I love Braun, but get real. He got off on a technicality. MLB rules state that the specimen must be shipped the same day it is collected. The specimen was collected on a Saturday. The person who was to take it to FedEx made a poor decision. He decided on his own the specimen would be safer at his house than it would be at FedEx for the weekend. He shipped it on Monday. The sample was NOT tampered with because of this, he already had ample opportunity. Nor does testosterone replicate itself. HE FAILED THE TEST. Got off on the technicality that MLB didn’t follow its own rules. A victory for truth, justice, and the American way.

  2. neelymessier - Feb 23, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    The panel HAD TO IGNORE THE POSITIVE TEST. Two of three agreed. Becuase of a technicality.

  3. jason9696 - Feb 23, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    He’s as innocent as O.J. was in his murder trial.

  4. plmathfoto - Feb 23, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    I’ve said all along, no way Selig lets his hometown boy do time. Anybody for conspiracy theory, that they had him dead to rights, and they intentionally bungled the sample process, this way they can keep him off the suspended list, they voted to, but they knew the arbitrator would vote against suspension cause of the bungle?

  5. badben31 - Feb 24, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    Maybe now MLB will learn not to release failed tests publicly until the appeal process is completed.

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