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Ryan Braun press conference notes and quotes

Feb 24, 2012, 1:22 PM EDT

braun getty Getty Images

Some notes and quotes from Ryan Braun‘s press conference this afternoon:

• He thanked fans who “withheld judgements as I respected the confidentially of this case.”

• “I tried to respect this process even though the confidentially was breached early on.”

• “If I had done this intentionally or unintentionally I’d have been the first one to admit it. I truly believe this substance never entered my body.”

• “It hasn’t been easy. Lots of times I wanted to come out and tell the entire story, attack everybody like I’ve been attacked. My name was dragged through the mud. But at the end of the day I recognized what was best for the game of baseball.”

• “I truly believe that everything in life happens for a reason and I learned a long time ago to stop questioning what goes on in life. I’ve yet to understand the reason for this, but I don’t question that.”

• “Today is for anyone who has been wrongly accused and everyone who stood up for what’s right. It’s about future players and the game of baseball.”

• “Never been a personal medical issue, never had an STD. Many of the erroneous stories reported by the network continue to live on, which is disappointing.”

• “I will continue to take the high road. We won because the truth was on my side. I was a victim of a process that completely broke down and failed as it was applied to me in this case. Today’s about making sure this never happens to anyone else who plays this game.”

• “The system as it was applied to me in this case was fatally flawed.”

• Braun revealed that he was first made aware of test result on October 19, which was during the playoffs.

• “At the end of the day, I know the truth. My friends, family, teammates, and the Brewers organization know the truth.”

• “We spoke to biochemists and scients, and asked them how difficult it would be for someone to taint the sample. They said, if they were motivated, it would be extremely easy.”

• “Ultimately, as I sit here today, the system worked because I was innocent and I was able to prove my innocence.”

• Braun is “considering all my legal options.”

145 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. wda628 - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    If you let the pee sit…. you MUST acquit!

    • Old Gator - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:12 PM

      Yeah!

    • ryfo18 - Feb 25, 2012 at 12:49 AM

      Ryan Braun is the “Black Swan” of piss tests.

  2. rob0527 - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    Well not guilty doesn’t mean innocent. Did he do it? Yes, but got off on a technicality. This stuff happens in court everyday. MLB should just move on and correct problem, they don’t always have to win.
    Why didn’t the messenger know of a place to take specimen before he got there and had specimen in his possession? Why was he limited to only a few in the area, if that important should have found Fed Ex that was open, no matter how far away.

    • nategearhart - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:32 PM

      The technicality compromised the testing process, meaning that we can’t know if he “did it”. Ignore the test results, as MLB is obligated to do, and move on.

    • phillyphreak - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:32 PM

      “Did he do it? Yes…”

      Can you share your inside information please?

      • lardin - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:35 PM

        There was synthetic testosterone in his sample. If Brauns believes, that his sample was tainted, prove it. Otherwise, He got off on a technicality.

      • nategearhart - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:40 PM

        But you can’t use the sample as evidence that he cheated because the sample was compromised.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:40 PM

        If Brauns believes, that his sample was tainted, prove it. Otherwise, He got off on a technicality.

        It’s not his job to prove it, it’s up to MLB to prove that Braun provided the dirty sample. They couldn’t.

        How f’ing difficult is this to understand?

      • stevejeltzjehricurl - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:40 PM

        It’s not Braun’s job to prove his sample was tainted; the fact that the process for testing was compromised means, in effect, that there was no sample.

        I’m almost as sick of the stupid technicality argument as Craig. Put another way, the technicalities are important. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be part of the process.

      • nightman13 - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:42 PM

        There was a “report” that he had synthetic testosterone in his system. The report came from the same network that accused Bill Belicheck of taping the Rams walkthrough before the Super Bowl and then when pressed for evidence said they didn’t have any.

        Dan PAtrick, who has had more correct info on this than anybody, reported today that the sample collector was a Cubs fan and he was so nervous on the stand that he couldn’t even say his name correctly and couldn’t even look at Braun.

        Everybody is taking what ESPN reported as fact, while ignoring that they frequently engage in some of the shadiest “reporting” in the business.

      • lardin - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:48 PM

        Yet hes the one lobbing the accusations. If you going to make the accusation, prove it.

      • phillyphreak - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:53 PM

        Accusation: A charge of wrongdoing that is made against a person or other party.

        MLB: Ryan Braun tests positive for PEDs.

        Defense: the denial or pleading of the defendant in answer to the claim or charge that has been made.

        Ryan Braun: I am innocent.

        But sure, lardin, he is lobbing the accusations here.

      • phillyphreak - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:55 PM

        Anyone else having issues with posts today?

        Anyway.

        Accusation: A charge of wrongdoing that is made against a person or other party

        Defense: the denial or pleading of the defendant in answer to the claim or charge that has been made.

        Ryan Braun: I am innocent.

        …….sorry lardin…..

      • navel gazing - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:55 PM

        Lardin: If there are illogical arguments in your posts, prove that you didn’t put them there.

        argumentum ad ignorantiam

      • phillyphreak - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:58 PM

        Accusation: A charge or claim that someone has done something illegal or wrong.

        Example: MLB- Ryan Braun tests positive for PED.

        Defense: the denial or pleading of the defendant in answer to the claim or charge.

        Example: Ryan Braun- I am innocent.

        So, clearly larding, Braun was not throwing accusations around.

      • phillyphreak - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:24 PM

        Free definitions:

        Accusation: A charge someone has done something wrong or illegal.
        Example: MLB: Ryan Braun tests positive for PEDs.

        Defense: The denial or pleading of a defendant in response to a charge..
        Example: Ryan Braun: I am innocent.

        Carry on.

      • scatterbrian - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:31 PM

        Lardin: he’s not lobbing accusations, he’s defending himself from false accusations. You are innocent until proven guilty in this country, not the other way around. He is under no obligation to prove anything, innocence or otherwise.

      • lardin - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:45 PM

        Innocent Until proven guilty only applies in a court of law. Anyone else is entitled to their own opinions. There is a reason a jury finds you not guilty, which does not mean your innocent, it just means your not guilty. Case in point is OJ Simpson. Yeah he was found not guilty of killing his wife, but do you really think he was innocent?

      • phillyphreak - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:56 PM

        Lardin:

        1) As scatterbrian points out, he was DEFENDING himself from ACCUSATIONS not throwing them around.

        2) Innocent until proven guilty extends beyond a courtroom. If it didn’t then there would be NO appeals process. The very nature of having such a process allows a player to contest the ruling. The “prosecution”/MLB therefore has to PROVE that he used PEDs.

        3) Is anyone else so tired of hearing the OJ analogy? Let’s flip it a bit- discuss Amanda Knox…..

      • phillyphreak - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:07 PM

        Lardin,
        Unfortunately for you innocent until proven guilty applies outside of the courtroom too. MLB accused Braun of something illegal and he defended himself. The burden of proof is on the MLB not Braun. This is exactly why there is an appeals process. If there was no chance of being “innocent” then there would be no appeals.

      • badmamainphilliesjamas - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:57 PM

        If the chain of custody was compromised, you can’t prove that it was Braun’s sample. That’s more than a technicality.

      • gendisarray - Feb 24, 2012 at 4:56 PM

        Innocent Until proven guilty only applies in a court of law. Anyone else is entitled to their own opinions. There is a reason a jury finds you not guilty, which does not mean your innocent, it just means your not guilty.

        True, everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. But if you’re looking to have a real discussion about your opinions, you have to support it with something stronger than simply repeating the trivial argument that you’re entitled to them. The real question becomes whether or not your opinion is justifiable given the facts at everyone’s disposal. I mean, if your opinion is that leprechauns are real, great – you’re right that you’re entitled to that opinion. But if you’re only argument is that “I can’t prove they exist in a court of law, but I’m entitled to believe in them”, well… I’m sure the guy on the corner wearing a doomsday billboard would love to take that up with you. The rest of us will know to move on.

      • phillyphreak - Feb 24, 2012 at 5:25 PM

        Apologies for the multiple posts….had some strangeness today…..

    • thefalcon123 - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:49 PM

      Oh, how I loathe phrase “he got off on a technicality”.

      Those “technicalities” exist for a reason. That reason is that is should be really goddamn hard to ruin someone’s life, cost them millions of dollars in lost salary and endorsements and make them a pariah forever. A strict set of rules needs to be followed to ensure your not totally screwing someone over. MLB DID NOT follow those rules and are therefore unable to ensure they weren’t screwing over Braun.

      • Damin H. - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:36 PM

        Shouldn’t those technicalities have a limit though? If there was reason to believe that the sample was positive, should there not be a minimum suspension or fine? The only reason he is not watching the next 50 Brewer games, is because some rookie didnt follow procedure correctly. Somebody lost their job, but not the right person.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:49 PM

        Amen Damin. Geeze, these guys who want to rip those of us who say he got off on a technicality are driving me nuts. You don’t see me saying how stupid you are for believing that his sample was tainted do you? I respect your opinion…I just disagree. Whether you think the sample was tainted or not is your opinion. There is not a single person in here who can 100% tell me that Braun did not use a banned substance. And the fact that he had a sample that was tested positive for a banned substance means either he did it or someone tainted his sample. That’s it. I think he did it. You think it was tainted. Who is right and who is wrong??? At the end of the day, only God and Braun really know. The rest of us are just forming our opinions of the guy.

      • ed7496 - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:18 PM

        Damin, let me get this straight, you are saying a “rookie” handled a MEDICAL sample. Do you think they hire any fool to do this? There is specific protocol that need to be maintained through this. If this “rookie” wasn’t trained for what he was responsible for, well whose fault is that. Would you want your urine or blood that is to be tested for your job to be left out, when it is supposed to be refrigerated and delivered ASAP? Would you be okay with it sitting out for 48 hours? If this happened to you, you’d be the first to be screaming “technicality”. Give me a break!!

      • stex52 - Feb 24, 2012 at 4:30 PM

        “Reason to believe” qualifies you for punishment? What country do you think this is, anyway?

  3. thetruth113 - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    The biggest question has not been answered: how did SYNTHETIC testerone get in that sample? It seems that he’s implying it his sample was switched or that the collector sabotaged his sample with syntehtic testosterone. Both seem absurd. Can any more scientifically inclined people shed light on the possibilities?

    So far we have the head of the Montreal lab who testified in the hearing that the sample should stlll be considered valid and the head of the World Anti Doping Agency agreeing and calling the exoneration bs

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:42 PM

      World Anti Doping Agency agreeing and calling the exoneration bs

      You do realize this is probably the group that has the most to lose regarding drug testing, so they aren’t exactly a non-biased party?

      • thetruth113 - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:49 PM

        What?

        What better authorities on the scientific opinion of whether the sample should stand than the head of WADA and the Montreal lab?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:53 PM

        Because WADA has repeatedly criticized MLB for a not strict enough drug policy. If it was up to WADA, every sport would follow their rules.

        This is why they aren’t impartial. They’ve repeatedly made comments about MLB, the Players Union and the Players specifically. They aren’t a neutral party in this at all.

      • rhandome - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:17 PM

        WADA isn’t trustworthy IMHO, they’ve shown disregard for procedures and confidentiality before, particularly in how they’ve pursued Lance Armstrong. They interfere in criminal investigations and make their case against athletes in the press. Shady organization.

    • nightman13 - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:48 PM

      It’s absurd that the sample goes missing for 44 hours in the hands of a part time employee who roots for the Brewers’ rivals and comes back with 3.5 times the amount of testosterone ever recorded? Not to mention Braun has tested clean over 25 times.

      A player who has tested clean his whole career has a positive test that is off the charts unrealistic, yet follows up with a perfectly clean test a week later and passes a lie detector cleanly. He must be dirty! That is plausible to you? Pathetic

      • stevejeltzjehricurl - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:58 PM

        This is the real problem for MLB and might account for some of their bluster. These tests are only as reliable as the people conducting them and the process that’s used to do the testing. If that credibility is shot here, it may be shot in other cases as well.

      • blabidibla - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:01 PM

        yeah, and Bonds never failed a test either. Your point?

      • nightman13 - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:36 PM

        Bonds was never tested, and there were literally mountains of evidence pulled from the BALCO lab.

      • comeonnowguys - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:03 PM

        1) It’s not off the charts.

        2) The Brewers have yet to be in the Central long enough for people to care long enough and hard enough to wait for that “perfect opportunity” to get back at a team that may be good enough to finish third this year. Oh wait, they’re fighting with the Cubs for third place? Oh, well clearly I stand corrected.

        This isn’t Bears-Packers. Take the tinfoil off of your favorite cheesehead.

      • obpedmypants - Feb 24, 2012 at 7:23 PM

        nightman13:

        All true, and I would also like to add that a little antisemitism isn’t out of the question as a motive either.

    • gendisarray - Feb 24, 2012 at 6:33 PM

      If only there was a precedent that could explain how an unrefrigerated urine sample ended up testing positive for so much testosterone… Oh, right, there is:

      http://www.open.edu/openlearn/whats-on/ou-on-the-bbc-background-brief-testing-the-best-the-story-so-far

  4. aaronmoreno - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    So he totally denied it, but did he totally deny it HARD ENOUGH?

  5. cur68 - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    In the immortal words of another commenter: “MVPee, baby!”

    • AlohaMrHand - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:45 PM

      Kemps twice the player Braun is.WITHOUT the “Valtrex”

      • cur68 - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:51 PM

        I actually agree: Kemp was the NL MVP. But I’m not letting that cloud my judgement about Braun’s case or get in the way of using a great term for all of Braun’s samples from 2011.

      • AlohaMrHand - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:56 PM

        Im more disappointed with baseball than I am Braun.They blew it once again.They just opened a can of worms,who else will now come out and claim their tests were tainted by improper procedures?

      • cur68 - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:00 PM

        I’m still waiting on the full disclosure of facts before I commit to a “who got away with what” argument, but I think, yeah, you’re pretty much exactly right about cans O’ worms.

      • Old Gator - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:17 PM

        I prefer to think that MLB just tied a fly.

  6. sdelmonte - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    So, going forward, is he likely to be tested till he turns blue? And will that mean anything?

  7. hijackthemic - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    He’s going to sue the MLB and now they’ll have to pay him a legal settlement even while complaining they think he’s a cheater. Nice job morons.

    • AlohaMrHand - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:50 PM

      Selig is used to slipping on banana peels and looking like a boob.

      • patsandsox - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:20 PM

        How many freaking blackeyes does Selig get to give MLB before they boot his arse out the door?
        The guy is the biggest clown on the face of the earth. The testing setup is a joke itself. I get tested. We have to go to a lab and a nurse takes the sample. No chance of this stuff happening. It makes me wonder if the whole testing process is a shame to get congress off their back? See were testing now, leave us alone. But there is stupid holes in the collection process that allows for it to be a joke. If it was for real it would be like it is at the it firm I work at.

      • 4d3fect - Feb 24, 2012 at 8:04 PM

        Boobs slip on banana peels? I thought they usually bounce around… in pairs.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:52 PM

      You can mark this down, as bicepts used to say…RYAN BRAUN WILL NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER SUE ANYONE ANYWHERE ABOUT THIS ISSUE. YOU CAN WRITE THAT IN STONE!!!

      He is thanking his lucky stars that this went his way and he will simply get quiet about it pretty soon and eventually will tell the media he is focused on baseball and doesn’t want to discuss it anymore.

      Why? Because he will only be opening up a serious can of worms if he were to sue baseball.

      • saints97 - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:31 PM

        Braun will sue MLB about like OJ sued the state of California for sullying his good name.

  8. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Sigh…how many days until Opening Day?

  9. blabidibla - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    So his argument is someone intentionally broke into this man’s house, found Braun’s sample in the basement, managed to get around the intact seals and purposefully tainted that one sample?

    Clap if you believe in Tinkerbell.

    • nightman13 - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:49 PM

      They are accusing the part time Cubs fan tester of tainting the sample.

      • blabidibla - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:59 PM

        Who is “they?” The seals were verified by all participants, including Braun.

        Keep on clapping.

        Frankly, I don’t really care if players use or not. But these claims are beyond reasonable. They are pure fantasy.

      • patsandsox - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:23 PM

        he was drinking milkshakes with big papi?

      • nightman13 - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:43 PM

        “They” would be Braun’s camp.

        Right, it’s TOTALLY impossible that he swapped containers, tampered with the sample or any number of things in 44 hours. He had enough time with the sample, and access to the testing supplies to make Braun test positive for a third arm growing out of his @$$.

        Dan Patrick reported that the tester was so nervous on the witness stand he said his name wrong. Yup that’s not fishy either.

        You know, using your “standards” identity theft is pure fantasy because there is just no way somebody could tamper with my credit cards or bank accounts because somebody clicked on the “Agree to Terms and conditions” checkbox before racking up thousands of dollars in online purchases.

        Keep trying. NEXT

      • comeonnowguys - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:07 PM

        Oh, so it’s wrong to quickly judge Braun as being a dirty player, but it’s just fine to judge the tester as being a scheming criminal because he’s a Cub fan?

        Hypocrisy.

      • mercyflush - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:16 PM

        nightman… which is more plausible? that a fan of a rival team swapped samples / tampered with the sample, or that Braun truly tested positive? A reasonable person would say the former is MUCH more unlikely than the latter.

        The fact that the process was not followed correctly means that Braun won his appeal. And that is what needed to happen. I’m fine with that.

        But the fact is that it *was* a technicality. The same way as OJ. I’m not saying OJ is a murderer and I’m not saying Braun was using PEDs. I’m saying that a problem in how the sample was handled is the reason Braun is “innocent” today.

        If the science was wrong, like they misread the data or something like that, then that’s different. I’m sure Braun is happy today, be he’ll never be truly exonerated in the minds of many many people because the nature of this ruling.

        For the record, I like Braun and I couldnt care less about the PED thing. But Braun backers need to chill out. Its not that people are haters because they still question the nature of this verdict.

      • nightman13 - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:27 PM

        @comeonnowguys

        I am pointing out the hipocrasy of those that have judged Braun guilty by the fact that they immediately discount any other possibility other than he’s dirty.

      • shaggytoodle - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:41 PM

        @Mercyflush I understand that the Braun backers are out and while I understand that people will question the nature of the verdict. Braun backers are giong to question the nature of the sampler.

        The guy waited two days to turn it in, and when testifying not only could did he have trouble stating his own name. It took him a half a minute to state his age.

        I just hope the truth does come out in the next few months.

        We all could use more facts when forming our opinions.

      • nightman13 - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:45 PM

        @mercyflush

        “which is more plausible? that a fan of a rival team swapped samples / tampered with the sample, or that Braun truly tested positive? A reasonable person would say the former is MUCH more unlikely than the latter. ”

        Really? Well a reasonable person would look at how many protocols were breached and the fishy circumstances in this process and say that ABSOLUTELY nothing can be ruled out.

        Confidentiality cause? Breached
        HIIPA laws? Breached
        Chain of Custody? Breached

        He allegedly Tested 3.5 times higher than the highest ever recorded test (which to my knowledge is Floyd Landis’ test in which he tested 11 times over the limit, which could put Braun’s test at almost 39 times the limit.) Those levels of testosterone would actually inhibit physical performance because the body can’t handle those levels. Plus Braun tested clean a week later, so he goes from insanely high levels to clean in a week?

        All of the “facts” came from ESPN with no sources, no verification or confirmation from anybody which puts the “facts” on the same level as the National Enquirer’s “Half Man Half Bat” story.

        The fact that it leaked after Braun had filed his appeal is fishy too. Once he began his appeal, he could not discuss any of the details in public leaving him to be tried in the court of public opinion for months.

        Will Carroll reported that Braun’s lawyers did attack the science and were able to replicate a false positive test.

        So without any of those facts, I would say it is very plausible he tested positive. With them, there is no way you can rule out any type of mistakes or foul play.

        So now with all that on the table

      • nightman13 - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:47 PM

        Oops

        So with all that on the table you can honestly sit there and say there is no way anything other than a positive test happened?

      • CJ - Feb 24, 2012 at 4:13 PM

        comeonnowguys,

        Well, the guy IS a Cubs fan. What more proof do you need?

    • thetruth113 - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:51 PM

      +1 million

    • supermariojosh - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:51 PM

      In all seriousness though, if this dude has access to the containers that they store urine samples in, how hard would it be to break the seal of Braun’s sample, “taint” it, throw it in a new unused, unsealed container, seal this new one up and pass it off as legit?

      To me the biggest red flag in the whole thing is that Braun tested THREE TIMES higher than the highest test EVER. That opens the door for foul play by somebody who wants to mess someone up but doesn’t totally understand what they’re doing. It’s obviously impossible to prove his innocence beyond a shadow of a doubt, but to me the evidence is at least compelling enough to doubt his guilt – particularly if the stuff Dan Patrick reported on today is true, which will obviously come out if Braun sues the collector.

      • kopy - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:00 PM

        This is what tripped me up, and no one has really discussed. Braun was three times higher than any test ever, including positive tests. This is much different than being three times the normal amount, which is what I think people read when they gloss over the statement. It just seems really ridiculous that Braun would have been 3 times higher than the highest positive testosterone test recorded.

      • chadjones27 - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:09 PM

        supermariojosh, It’s probably pretty difficult to do what you described. I’m sure the testing facilities keep a pretty accurate count of how many test containers they have and the seals used to keep them shut. I’m sure there would have been an audit into this to make sure someone didn’t walk off with some extras.

      • blabidibla - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:16 PM

        Braun signed off on those seals. You saying the tester had an extra set of seals with Braun’s autograph on them?

      • kopy - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:28 PM

        How do we know Braun’s autograph was on the seals?

      • kopy - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:29 PM

        I believe in the process, and will never form a solid conclusion about what happened, but when somebody states a fact about this case that I haven’t read before I’m curious as to where it came form.

      • supermariojosh - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:43 PM

        You guys raise fair counterpoints for sure – and like I said, impossible to prove his innocence beyond a shadow of a doubt. I agree it might be difficult to do – but somebody swiping one extra test tube doesn’t seem all that crazy to me, particularly if they’re crazy enough to try and taint a sample in the first place. I don’t know. There’s also the possibility others have brought up in this thread regarding samples getting mixed up and Braun not saying much to try and protect another teammate. I don’t know how possible that is either – but until due process has happened it shouldn’t be considered out of the question. As nobody in this thread knows the minutiae of the process, everything we say is speculation. To contend that a sample disappearing for 44 hours and having three times the testosterone of the highest positive test ever doesn’t warrant a closer look though is just foolish. You can maintain you’re still suspicious, but to keep claiming he’s 100% with those facts hanging out there doesn’t jize with our country’s bill of rights.

        I also take issue with people saying Braun hasn’t proven that he didn’t have synthetic testosterone in his system, like that is somehow possible for him to do. Because MLB maintains their process is infallible (which Braun already proved isn’t actually the case) – he went after the only thing he could possibly go after. That would be like somebody coming out and claiming my college grades were due to cheating because I got high grades. There is NOTHING I could do to prove that person wrong besides pointing to consistent performance throughout school and attacking the process with which they were criticizing my transcripts. I know that comparison doesn’t totally work, but you can see what I’m saying.

      • supermariojosh - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:48 PM

        Yikes, I butchered a couple sentences in there, sorry, should have proofread before I hit post. Doesn’t “jize?” That’s gross. :-)

      • blabidibla - Feb 27, 2012 at 5:56 PM

        The Collector shall peel the back off a tamper evident security seal and place the seal over the top and down both sides of the collection cup that contains the urine. Both the player and Collector shall initial the seal.

        http://mlbplayers.mlb.com/pa/pdf/jda.pdf MLB COLLECTION PROCEDURES section O

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:57 PM

      So his argument is someone intentionally broke into this man’s house, found Braun’s sample in the basement, managed to get around the intact seals and purposefully tainted that one sample?

      No, his argument is this. Not like you’ll care anyhow but I feel like punishing myself:

      1 – Tested on a Saturday
      2 – Sample was not held due to the chain of custody protocols. Who knows what could have happened between giving the sample and the lab receiving it*.
      3 – Therefore the sample is invalid

      * this is the important part. It doesn’t matter what happened here. The Chain of Custody was not followed, and the independent Arbiter agreed. Therefore the test is invalid.

      • thetruth113 - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:11 PM

        Look up statistically likely outcomes in the dictionary. What is more likely to have happened, his test was tainted when it was “lost” in those 44 hours or he was juicing? Better yet if you had to assign a 90% likelihood to one of the scenarios and a 10% chance of the other occuring which would you pick? I bet I can guess

      • blabidibla - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:14 PM

        Yes, that is Braun’s legal teams argument on the chain of custody (which is flimsy at best if you actually read the protocols). However, to believe Braun’s case that the sample was tainted during this you must believe the above or that the tester tainted it himself. Those seals are signed off by both the tester and the Braun himself and no one has argued the seals were rigged.

        Argue all the legalese you’d like. You’re still clapping for Tink.

      • kopy - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:40 PM

        http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/statisically%20likely%20outcomes

        Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:40 PM

        @thetruth

        It’s completely irrelevant. It doesn’t matter if he took every single PED in the history of man and washed it down with an HGH shake. The sample is deemed invalid by an Arbiter agreed upon by MLB and the MLBPA. Invalid sample means it couldn’t be used for testing.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:49 PM

        However, to believe Braun’s case that the sample was tainted during this you must believe the above or that the tester tainted it himself.

        Just like thetruth, this is all irrelevant. Braun’s case was that the sample’s didn’t follow necessary protocol; therefore, they shouldn’t be tested. The Arbiter agreed. He doesn’t have to argue anything beyond that because, according to the MLB and MLBPA approved judge in the case, the sample’s integrity is gone and shouldn’t have been tested.

        Braun’s camp doesn’t have to make any argument beyond that. It would be nice to hear what their reasons for the abnormally high testosterone was. It’d be nice to hear the rumored scientists’ reasonings for how this could have occurred. But as I said in another thread last night, it’d also be nice to spend a night alone with Lucy Pinder and Michelle Marsh.

      • bunglemancan - Feb 25, 2012 at 10:48 AM

        Church, you are correct that the sample should never have been tested and therefore Braun doesn’t need to prove anything beyond that. That’s why he got off. But that doesn’t prove he’s innocent. And no matter how much people disagree with the terminology, it was a technicality. Given all the evidence, the only reason he was exonerated is because of the delay in mailing the sample. That’s what a technicality is.

    • patsandsox - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:22 PM

      He was drinking milkshakes with Papi ?

    • ed7496 - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:30 PM

      No his argument is that his test which was supposed to be taken DIRECTLY to Fed-Ex and kept refrigerated, sat out for 40+ hours. Again I ask, if this was your sample and you were accused of marijuana or some illegal substance in your system, you’d be tooting your tinkerbell horn too. The credibility in this entire fiasco is a joke. There is a REASON for a chain of evidence. And yes a seal can be broken. Are you that naive? A lot can happen in 44 hours. You need to come back from Neverland.

      • blabidibla - Feb 27, 2012 at 5:21 PM

        Does Fed Ex ship piss samples in refrigerated cars? No. The sample would have been exposed to far less stringent controls had it been in Fed Ex possession over the 40 hour weekend instead of a cool basement under TRAINED supervision. Yes, a seal CAN be broken, but BOTH SEALS IN THIS CASE WERE INTACT and signed by Braun himself. What exactly is a chain of evidence? Do you mean chain of possession?

        Keep on clapping Tink.

  10. ezthinking - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    Funny thing is there is ZERO evidence there was synthetic testosterone in his sample. That was some sports writers guess at what happened. The writer heard the test was “insanely high” – no facts for this position mind you, and then decided the only way to be “insanely high” was through synthetic testosterone.

    If you won’t blindly believe Braun, why are you blindly believing a sports writer that makes money by getting people to read his stories?

    • thetruth113 - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:18 PM

      Don’t know where you got this from but his sample B was tested using the carbon isotope test which looks specifically for the presence of synthetic testosterone. That also tested positive

    • comeonnowguys - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:09 PM

      How about you not blindly believe *anyone* and just view Braun and especially the testing system with some level of skepticism?

  11. Jonny 5 - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    Insanely high levels like never seen before + arbiter tossing the case = something fishy to me. I’m not saying he used or didn’t. But I have to trust the judgement of the arbiter in this case.

  12. stevejeltzjehricurl - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    There’s about 100 different ways to spin this, but I think a few points should be highlighted:

    1. Braun doesn’t need to prove squat. MLB needed to prove that the sample was his and that it was properly obtained, stored, tested and reported correctly. The process was not followed, so MLB cannot prove that Braun cheated. They may suspect it, but it’s close to the same level at which people suspect Jeff Bagwell was taking PEDs, in that it’s all speculation.

    2. MLB needs to clean up the process; presumably, the MLBPA should have the same interest, but perhaps they don’t care. If you’re going to have a policy that you trumpet as world-class, then it should be. Perhaps MLB’s protocols follow whatever is prescribed by WADA or similar organizations, but I really have trouble believing that on matters they consider important, they are willing to let the hours of Fed Ex determine where a drug sample is stored. I’ve worked for law firms and companies in situations where it’s after the Fed Ex deadline but something needed to get somewhere — people were sent to the Fed Ex office at the airport, or a courier service that works weekends and nights was called to carry and deliver the goods. Is it that hard to have the number of a trusted courier service in each MLB city for the rare (or possibly not so rare) cases where stuff would be sitting around all weekend?

    3. I’ve seen people argue prior to the news conference that Braun got off on a technicality and that he still has to answer for the test. No, he doesn’t. Braun’s suspension was lifted because the process was flawed, and the test result is the end point of the process. That means that you can’t trust the test result.

  13. uwsptke - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    When Braun continues to consistently put up the type of numbers that he has over his entire career while passing every drug test like he did the 25 times he has thus far in his career, will that finally be enough to shut some people up? If you watch the press conference, he’s not acting like someone who caught a break and wants to put this all behind him (like a guilty person probably would). He’s coming across as an innocent man who’s genuinely pissed off that he’s had to go through this ordeal, and he’s not done fighting.

    If the system worked the way it was supposed to, none of us would even know about it. Braun has every right to consider legal actions against anyone involved (the source of the “leak”, ESPN for spreading every rumor they got their hands on, etc.) since it has tainted his image and potential earning power off the field. As he said in this press conference, “my biggest regret is that this was supposed to be the time of my life, and I’ll never get that back.”

    • thetruth113 - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:04 PM

      Floyd Landis passed hundreds of drug tests in his career and he admitted he was doping most of his professional career. The argument that he tested clean so many times before doesn’t hold much water

      • koufaxmitzvah - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:08 PM

        Your apple sure looks like an orange.

      • supermariojosh - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:10 PM

        I thought the stuff Braun said about not getting any bigger, faster, or stronger and his numbers not fluctuating was fairly compelling though. Unless he’s been juicing his entire career including college, there is absolutely no evidence to suggest he’s on anything.

      • thetruth113 - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:15 PM

        Only the evidence of a positive synthetic test. The carbon isotope test’s false positive chances are near zero. If he was juicing purely for nightly recovery after games during the playoffs as some have alleged, would he necessarily get any bigger or stronger?

  14. normcash - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    Clearly the chain of custody was impaired. When you combine that fact with the facts that A) he’d
    been tested many times before and come up clean; B) he came up clean on the re-test shortly after
    the first results showed a banned substance; C) there are no physical changes such as those we saw with Bonds; and D) according to press reports, the contamination was supposed to be “off the charts” and “higher than any test had ever shown before” I think there are plenty of reasons to think
    Braun was a victim of a screw-up. The anti-Braun crowd apparently believes he massively ingested
    a banned substance knowingly even though he knew a test would reveal it and just before the playoffs…only somebody with an idiot IQ would do that and no one asserts he’s an idiot. The whole matter smells to high heaven and I’m glad Braun won’t be suspended.

    • thetruth113 - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:01 PM

      as to your B), he came up clean on a test 3 weeks later which means absolutely zero. Certain steroids can be out of your system within days and if you want to believe Victor Conte he claims that there is a method to juicing after a game to help with recovery the night of that will be out of your system by the next morning

      • mercyflush - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:22 PM

        lol why would people give that ^^^^ a thumbs down? I’ve read the same thing about certain PEDs.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 24, 2012 at 4:14 PM

        lol why would people give that ^^^^ a thumbs down? I’ve read the same thing about certain PEDs.

        Because i’d wager that 80% of the commentariat’s knowledge of drugs/PED is based on our 5th grade DARE education which was based on 60/70s era of information. Think about how many people, including journalists, use things like backne or shrunken testicles as evidence of steroids not realizing how far science has improved PEDs.

    • bunglemancan - Feb 25, 2012 at 11:02 AM

      C) Braun did have noticibly more bulk in his legs last year. Braun said it was do to his off-season focus on increasing his speed. Bill Schroeder commented that it was amazing that the physical change didn’t affect his swing mechanics.

  15. thetruth113 - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    I’m blown away by the people that say that since the sample was “unnacounted for” for 2 days its end of story, case closed, the sample can’t be trusted. To not consider the circumstances that must have resulted in the positive test is absurd. Based on the violation of standard procedure he shouldn’t be suspended, but he can still be guilty in the same way that an illegal search and seizure rightfully can set a murderer free but that person can still have committed the murder.

    Let’s examine the likelihood of each scenario:

    1. Braun tested positive because he was juicing.
    2. Braun tested positive because the collector took the sample home and switched the sample with someone he knows was juicing or used his chemistry skills to taint the sample with synthetic testosterone.

    One explantation sounds exceedingly plausible and likely and while one sounds like a pie in the sky fantasy. Which scenario would you put your money if you had to bet?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:03 PM

      And the rest of us are blown away by the fact that some of you can’t tell the difference between innocent and not-guilty. You can come up with 1001 different scenarios where Braun illegally juicing makes the most sense [Occam's Razor]; the simple truth is that the Arbiter agreed that because protocols weren’t followed, the sample is invalid. Period, end of discussion. Doesn’t matter what was/wasn’t done to the sample, it’s invalid.

    • stevejeltzjehricurl - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:15 PM

      Yes, but that doesn’t include all of the facts. We’ve seen reports that Braun’s test result was “insanely high” and “higher than ever reported.” It’s been reported that Braun’s lawyers were able to show that the contamination of the process could lead to a bad test result. It’s even been reported that the individual who collected the test result and held it is less than credible.

      Frankly, if even only the first item is true, I’d start leanign toward option #2. If a result that is far outside the norm for even a violation is reported in a case where the process was compromised, I think it’s reasonable to conclude that the process error caused the test result.

      • thetruth113 - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:30 PM

        The contamination process could lead to a tainted result by a “motivated person” is what Braun said. The key here is proving that the collector tainted it or at least showing some possibility or motive for the collector tainting it. We’ll have to wait for for more information to come out about the collector, but if the collector proves clean it’d be quite irrational to still claim that Braun wasn’t juicing.

        The bottom line is the jury is out on guilty or innocent until we learn more about the collector himself. That is the key here. If it is substantiated that the collector was a Cubs fan with a shaky professional history or something else comes out that dents his credibility or points to motive than Braun case becomes very strong. If the collector is vetted with a squeaky clean professional resume and no reasonable motive, you can’t say with a straight face that you believe Braun wasn’t juicing.

    • nategearhart - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:25 PM

      But I don’t have to bet. I don’t have to have an opinion on whether or not he cheated. People need to stop insisting that I do.
      The statement that the test was officially compromised due to protocol violation is not an opinion, it is a fact. And that is the only takeaway I’m getting out of this. As to whether Braun cheated, I give it as much thought as I did the day before the leak.

      • shzastl - Feb 24, 2012 at 6:43 PM

        The protocol “violation” was the “fact” apparently found by the arbitrator. (Whether he actually violated the protocol is debatable, but that’s what the arbitrator decided). That the sample was “compromised” due to the violation is merely an assumption, but not necessarily warranted. It should not be such a black/white issue; not every procedural misstep means automatic victory for the other side. Certain errors are harmless. The arbitrator assumed that the sample was tainted based on the ‘violation’ of not going to FedEx ASAP. But is there any scientific evidence that it would even be possible for a sealed sample to generate higher levels as a result of that delay? If not, the procedural violation should be disregarded.

        That’s not to say that an arbitrator would never be justified overturning a positive test based on violation of protocol — if there was evidence that the collector intentionally flouted the rules or something like that, it would be more reasonable to assume the test was necessarily compromised. But otherwise, the testing program should not be about the collector walking a protocol tightrope where the most innocent, harmless error is an automatic “get out of jail free” card.

  16. ezthinking - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    Seems sad. People will believe any negative statement about a person who succeeds and discount any positive statement. The jealousy is truly pathetic.

  17. mvp43 - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Mark my words:

    He is completely innocent. They WILL find that the sample taken was not his, but another players and it got mixed up. Braun is trying to protect the confidentiality of the other player. There were 3 other tests that day that he took his. The courier mixed up the labels………..and he knows itm which is why he will take legal action.

  18. koufaxmitzvah - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    To all of those complaining about Braun getting off on a “technicality,” realize that there are 50-50 chances here that our births were the result of “accidents.”

    • Old Gator - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:20 PM

      Mine was a complete train wreck, with a couple of fog-shrouded pileups, a flipped Indonesian ferry, an irradiated crocodile nest from Turkey Point and Eastern Flight 401 thrown in for good measure. But my parents never complained about it because their group health coverage paid for 90% and someone forgot to bill them for the co-payments.

  19. drunkenhooliganism - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    What if Moises Alou was the collector and after applying some hydrocortisone that contained steroids on part of his body he felt he needed some help with the callouses on his hands that developed after playing 36 holes and he thought soaking them in MVPee would clear it up quickly.

    I’m no scientist but it seems pretty obvious this is what happened

  20. takingbovadasmoney - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    Multi billion dollar company, and they have a part timer handling piss tests?

  21. muskyhunter2542 - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    This yeat he will watched very closly. If he puts up the same or better numbers in 2012:
    The Haters need to stop hatin!!!
    The Conspiracy Theorists need to get lifes
    Mike Lupica needs to get a smack to the ugly little face of his

    • mercyflush - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:33 PM

      right, because you’re obviously a hater if you think that its more likely that Braun truly tested positive than a person whose job it was to care for samples intentionally tampered with a sealed sample that had both the tester and Braun’s signature on it.

      the conspiracy theorists are the people thinking that a rival fan tainted the sample.

      Braun is innocent and he should be. The appeal process worked. I’m totally fine with that.

      I’m not a “hater” because I still think that there’s a strong possibility that he really did test positive.

      (I also dont care about him testing positiive if that was the case. he’s a great player regardless).

      • muskyhunter2542 - Feb 24, 2012 at 4:56 PM

        Good call!!!

  22. Gamera the Brave - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    Am I the only one here who thinks that a lot of people commenting over the last couple of day don’t know the difference between Napoleonic Law and English Common Law, and which one we use here in the States?

    Further, am I the only one here who thinks that the previous sentence was too long and awkward?

    • snowbirdgothic - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:13 PM

      Your legalese is friend to all children, Gamera.

    • cur68 - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:14 PM

      You could be, GtB. That 1st sentence is ok: probably one too many points in it, but ok as grammatical construct, I think. I think the assumption that this is a misapplication of Napoleonic Law over English Common Law is giving some people WAY more credit than they deserve, but then I’ve been accused of being an elitist by some. Who, you ask? Peons, that’s who! Anyhow, I believe your point is, in fact, accurate, well made and properly expressed…but if you’ve ever read any my comments I suspect you’ll find my endorsement might in fact be the opposite of what you want in this regard.

  23. brjones9 - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    I’m tired of reading that Braun’s defense team didn’t challenge the “science” and that he got off on a “technicality”. First of all, the information coming out today says they *did* challenge the “science”. All reports are now saying that the insanely high, unrealistic testosterone level was a major part of Braun’s defense. And Will Carroll has gone as far as to say that the defense team was able to replicate the results of Braun’s test by duplicating the violations in the chain of custody.

    But even if we go by just the initial information, it wasn’t a “technicality”. A core tenet of good science is treating data collection and collected samples (such as Braun’s urine) by strict, controlled guidelines to ensure there is no bias or contamination. If these guidelines aren’t followed, the sample is no longer reliable. So not handling Braun’s urine sample correctly is bad SCIENCE, not just a technicality. You might be able to get away with saying they didn’t challenge the chemistry…but calling someone out for not adequately following the scientific method is by definition challenging science.

    Think of it this way…imagine a scientist published a peer-reviewed journal article about an experiment that produced results that conflicted with findings from 25 similar experiments in the recent past. Then later, it was revealed that the methods he used to collect these samples were sloppy, and failed to meet the protocols set in previous experiments. How would other scientists react? I can tell you one thing they wouldn’t say: “Oh, that’s just a technicality…this data is still good.” Rather, they’d criticize and reprimand this scientist for bad science, and his findings would be completely rejected.

    • nightman13 - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:45 PM

      WOW, yet another fact filled logic driven post that shockingly is backed up with info that didn’t come from the TMZ of sports.

  24. Chris Fiorentino - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    There is only one fact in this entire fiasco and that is this…two people KNOW what happened…God and Ryan Braun. That’s it. So anyone on EITHER side who wants to pontificate that I AM RIGHT AND YOU ARE WRONG is a complete fool.

    I happen to believe that Braun used a banned substance, got caught, and got lucky that the chain of custody of the sample was broken and he got off on a technicality. Some others on the opposite side think the sample was tainted somehow and that he didn’t use a banned substance at all.

    Either side isn’t wrong or right. Both scenarios are possible, although I do think that those who tsay the sample was tampered with are conspiracy theorists. But hey…to each his/her own. I would never call someone stupid or wrong for believing what they think.

    Then there is this third group of people, like Craig, who actually don’t care whether he really used a banned substance at all. Their position is “The arbitrator threw out the suspension, so who cares whether he really used a banned substance or not” And if you do think his sample was not tainted, then you don’t respect the drug testing process. LOL. I guess the arbitrator who voted in MLB’s favor doesn’t respect the process either?? Give me a freaking break. I still can’t get over just how stupid Craig’s argument was in this entire thing. I guess maybe he will need another night of sleep to think it over…or maybe a weekend…to come back and decide that he was wrong to rip those of us who don’t think the sample was tainted and that Braun did use a banned substance. And that he got off on a TECHNICALITY!!!

    • yournuts - Feb 25, 2012 at 11:51 PM

      It is not a Technicality, it was deems unaceptable because it was not processed correctly and was unaccountable for 40 hours. That is what the ruling was.

  25. ed7496 - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    I just saw the press conference and Ryan Braun handled it with dignity. He has every right to be angry and point fingers, but he didn’t. He did state the facts, which I was not aware of until today. I heard all the B.S. about him having an STD, and all the other garbage that was “reported”. He was guilty until proven innocent. Everything about this was handled unprofessionally. To say he was let off on a “technicality” is idiotic. Let me ask this…if you took a urine test for work and it was left out unsupervised for 40+ hours and it came back positive for an illegal substance, would you not be angry and try to clear your name. Then hearing at your job you have herpes among other ridiculous rumors. I hardly think ANY of you would be claiming you got off on a technicality. You would vehemently maintain your innocence Why is everyone acting like a lynch mob? Give Ryan Braun the same consideration. Major League Baseball has dropped the ball on this. Plain and simple. Ryan Braun has been completely 100% cooperative during this fiasco. He was proven innocent, and with the facts finally revealed, I’m glad he was. No way should a player lose his reputation and livelihood for stupidity and ignorance.
    The sad part is he won’t ever get this monkey off his back. Thanks to the so-called leaks and frivolous reporting. As well as the MLB’s confidentiality agreement. He deserves a clean slate. His entire reputation was destroyed due to this joke of a process. The MLB needs to admit their system is pathetic and needs to do what it can to fix this. As well as help rebuild this players reputation.

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