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Think Braun is still dirty? Fine, but then at least admit you don’t care about drug testing

Feb 24, 2012, 8:33 AM EDT

Milwaukee Brewers Photo Day Getty Images

After a night’s sleep and a couple hundred angry comments and emails, I think I’ve figured a couple of things out about the Ryan Braun reaction and people’s overall feelings about MLB’s drug testing program. Mostly, though, I’m just dumbfounded at the cynicism and intellectual dishonesty of so many who wish to ignore the arbitrator’s ruling and cast Braun as a PED-using villain regardless.

For years, people argued for Major League Baseball to adopt a rigorous testing regime. Why? To end the speculation. To stop the “is he using or isn’t he” parlor games.  Read every single column written about Jeff Bagwell’s Hall of Fame candidacy and you’ll find some variation of “but for so long there was no testing, so we just can’t know, and that uncertainty is horrible …” sentiment.

Now we have a testing program. And it’s amazing to me just how quickly the end product of that testing program — no suspension for Ryan Braun — is diminished or outright dismissed when results aren’t what people wanted.

I’m talking about those who don’t care that the procedures weren’t followed and say that they still don’t think Braun is clean, his name not cleared.  Sure, you’re allowed to think that if you want, but just understand that if you do — if “we still don’t think he’s clean” or “questions still remain” holds — then there is no purpose whatsoever to have a testing program in the first place. Because even with one in place, people will just assume what they want to assume regardless of the end product, and that’s no different than where we were in 1998.

The reason? Because no scientific protocol has legitimacy if only some parts of it are adhered to and others aren’t. When you go with testing, you go with everything. You can’t say that the preliminary test results matter and the chain of custody protocols don’t. It’s all of a piece.  It’s the entire process that lends drug testing its legitimacy, not just part of it.

But hey, if you still want to crap on Braun — if you still want to say “but his testosterone levels were high, so he’s suspect” or “MLB has egg on its face because the testing failed” — fine. Do so. It’s a free country.  But if you do so, admit that you do it because you simply don’t like the results here. And spare me any whining about the past, and about how Major League Baseball was so lax in testing for so many years before now.  Because as is evidenced by your Ryan Braun reactions, you wouldn’t have cared regardless.

206 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. mattintoledo - Feb 24, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    Not really willing to comment too much on things I don’t know enough about, so I’ll try to get something I’ve been wondering about answered. If protocol had been followed in terms of this information not having been leaked prematurely, how much of this would we even know about? Any of it?

  2. The Rabbit - Feb 24, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    Once again, Craig, I agree with you entirely; however, in fairness I must admit that unlike many of the commenters, I don’t give a crap whether Braun (or anyone else) used or didn’t. In the big scheme of things this is a game. If an adult wants to punish his/her own body to be successful, I don’t care.

    I am a major fan of due process, innocent until proven guilty, and all those cliches that don’t seem to matter any more now that we have an instant media that has the “right to know”, claims to be “fair and balanced”, and a percentage of lemmings who are willing to believe anything that is written.

    I also don’t believe in the total infallibilty of a drug testing programs. I have seen inaccuracies in their uses other than pro sports. The process is in place for a reason. If it’s not followed and sometimes, even when it is, the results should be disregarded.

    • Francisco (FC) - Feb 24, 2012 at 10:24 AM

      Some people still label J.C Romero as a PED user in spite of all the available material on the subject. Lemmings I tell you! LEMMINGS!

  3. ufullpj - Feb 24, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    Let me put it this way: getting facts about sports from ESPN is now like getting facts about politics from Fox News. Believe it at your own ignorant peril.

    Three key facts have emerged from this, after the dust has settled: ESPN reported leaked positive result – fact – before the appeal was heard. Then their “opinion” experts convicted Braun continually, while Braun couldn’t say a word.

    Second, it’s now been confirmed on the record that Braun offered a DNA sample to prove the positive sample was not his, and MLB refused the test. Why did MLB refuse it? Why was that not being reported by “news” organizations like ESPN?

    Third, the part-time sample collector (Read: Part-Time) did NOT leave it in a refrigerator, as per protocol – instead, it was left in a tupperware container on a desk. Really? How come that is also not being reported by ESPN? It was not secure.

    Look, the bottom line is this – the goal of counsel was to overturn the ban on appeal, not to prove he’s innocent. Big difference. For those of you questioning why Braun’s camp didn’t question the science, it’s because they didn’t have to. MLB’s drug testing company screwed up the chain of custody so bad that it gave Braun’s legal team the opening they needed to overturn the ban. Hate Braun for something that never should have been public in the first place if you want, but everyone should be directing their anger to toward’s MLB’s lack of oversight and protocol adherence for their collection policies. If I’m Rob Manfred, I’m getting my resume ready.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 24, 2012 at 9:57 AM

      Where are you guys getting all this info from? Curious as I’d like to read some myself but I hate using ESPN as a source of truth.

    • anotheryx - Feb 24, 2012 at 10:37 AM

      You are wrong about ESPN…
      Everything you listed was disclosed by Lester Munson of ESPN at

      http://espn.go.com/espnradio/play?id=7610392

      • drmonkeyarmy - Feb 24, 2012 at 10:51 AM

        So is the guy above sourcing ESPN to say that ESPN sucks for not talking about what ESPN was sourcing? Crazy.

      • ufullpj - Feb 24, 2012 at 11:09 AM

        By Munson, yes. But how many of their writers, commentators, etc., have repeated it? NONE. They are blatantly ignoring facts.

        Never let facts get in the way of a good story, right?

      • anotheryx - Feb 24, 2012 at 11:16 AM

        I’m not saying that ESPN has no agenda, but only to single out ESPN (as compare to SI, Fox, CBS, NBC whatever) when they are actually the sole source of the information is… well, not convincing.

      • anotheryx - Feb 24, 2012 at 11:19 AM

        Basically you are blaming ESPN for not reporting it more when they are the only one who actually reported it in the first place, how does that work?

    • blabidibla - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:19 PM

      You forgot to mention Braun backed off his offer for DNA testing. MLB didn’t refuse it.

  4. buffalomafia - Feb 24, 2012 at 9:56 AM

    Hey guys whether Braun is right or wrong don’t you think there is some kinds of PED’s in supplements you buy @ a supplement store?

    Even Bobby Valentine said last year that PED’s will eventually be in the supplements you buy.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Feb 24, 2012 at 10:17 AM

      Taking dietary supplements is largely a foolish thing to do.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Feb 24, 2012 at 10:30 AM

        No seriously….the protocols for manufacturing dietary supplements is surprisingly lax. Many OTC supplements have substances in them that are not on the label. One does not really know what they are ingesting when taking a supplement. Furthermore, most dietary supplements only have antedoctal evidence to support their efficacy. Therefore, it is highly likely that you are just paying for expensive piss.

  5. steeldoeboy - Feb 24, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    Didn’t Braun and his Reps say after his test came back dirty…that his body produces a high amount of testosterone?But they make a case over handling of a sample…..I’m glad the “system” worked for him…now let’s see what he does this season.Will he be the next Brady Anderson or say his production dropped because Prince is in Detroit?

  6. drmonkeyarmy - Feb 24, 2012 at 10:16 AM

    Here’s the thing, I don’t like Ryan Braun. Every time I see him on TV, I just want to gauge out his eyes with a spoon. I realize it is completely irrational and mostly unjustified, but there is something about him that bothers me. He just looks like a guy who would shit in your toilet then not flush…I don’t like that guy. Therefore, I was hoping he would have to deal with the shame and guilt of letting his team down by juicing and being suspended. I am disappointed that he will not be. Because of the feelings explained above, I am incapable of having a rational debate about any of the topics relevant to the Ryan Braun situation….I just want what would be worse for Braun. I am not going to pretend that I sifted through the hundreds of comments in the various articles, but perhaps some people are succumbing to their own preconceived biases…incapable or unwilling to see the entirety of the situation.

    • Francisco (FC) - Feb 24, 2012 at 10:33 AM

      You remind me of the George Carlin skit: “You want to know why Dole lost? Didn’t own up to his own bullsh*t. He kept telling people “I’m Honest, I’m Honest.” BULLSH*T! Then came Clinton and told people: “Hi! I’m full of sh*t.” Well, at least he’s honest…

  7. ningenito78 - Feb 24, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    Ufullpj- seeing as how you are the only person that I’ve heard say any of what you posted do you have a link? Because if what you are saying is true that would make a big difference. But I find it odd you have better info than ESPN. Not to say they are perfect. Far from it. But I would love to hear where you got all that info. And Braun’s attorney doesn’t count.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Feb 24, 2012 at 10:27 AM

      I agree with you and all…except ESPN does by and large suck. However, you realize that you could have replied directly to him by clicking the “reply” button. It would probably garner a faster response back to your proclamation for links.

    • anotheryx - Feb 24, 2012 at 10:36 AM

      The only thing related I could find

      http://www.businessinsider.com/how-major-league-baseball-royally-screwed-up-the-ryan-braun-suspension-2012-2

      which itself sources and ESPN podcast at

      http://espn.go.com/espnradio/play?id=7610392

      But… it doesn’t match up with what everyone else is saying

    • ufullpj - Feb 24, 2012 at 11:13 AM

      Munson hit on a lot of it during this interview this morning –

      http://espn.go.com/espnradio/play?id=7610392

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 24, 2012 at 11:37 AM

        Ugh, anyone but Munson reporting on this stuff? He’s a scumbag of the highest order.

  8. chip56 - Feb 24, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    Ok, so how did the steroids get into a sealed urine sample? The test wasn’t flawed, the process was. Braun shouldn’t have to serve a suspension because MLB screwed up and this is their lesson to tighten up the process, but that’s a far different result than Braun being innocent.

    • Francisco (FC) - Feb 24, 2012 at 10:38 AM

      It’s also different from saying he’s guilty. To quote a certain character: “Don’t Know means Don’t Know.” We give him the benefit of the doubt and remain vigilant in future drug tests. I’m pretty sure he’ll get the Batista treatment and get tested fifty or so times this season.

  9. ningenito78 - Feb 24, 2012 at 10:36 AM

    Drmonkeyarmy- that is very true about OTC supplements. But every team employs people that you can check with to see of a supplement you are using is legal or not. Which is why a tainted supplement is not a valid excuse for a positive test. As for the reply button I’m using an iPhone and can’t seem to be able to reply to just a singular post.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Feb 24, 2012 at 10:40 AM

      Fair enough….I’m not saying “tainted supplements” are a valid excuse for a positive result. I am saying it is wise for virtually everybody to stay away from dietary supplements…unless compelling scientific data exists to justify their use. Also, the manufacturer would have to be extremely reputable.

  10. gerryb323 - Feb 24, 2012 at 10:39 AM

    Let’s think about this another way.

    Ryan Braun takes a drug test.

    The sample is handled in the same way it was handled here (left for 2 days, etc….)

    The test comes back clean.

    What does this prove?

    I’ll wait for responses…

    • gerryb323 - Feb 24, 2012 at 10:46 AM

      I said I’d wait, but I want to make my point more clear.

      Ryan Braun takes 100 drug tests that are handled correctly.

      All of them show that he takes steroids.

      Ryan Braun takes one drug test that is handled as this one was.

      It shows he is clean.

      He takes 100 more drug tests that are again handled correctly.

      All of those show he takes steroids.

      What is your conclusion?

      • drmonkeyarmy - Feb 24, 2012 at 10:54 AM

        That Cur68 somehow tainted the samples to further his blatant Pro-Canadian agenda?

      • Gobias Industries - Feb 24, 2012 at 10:56 AM

        Also, in a class of 78 students 41 are taking French, 22 are taking German and 9 students are taking both French and German. How many students are not enrolled in either course?

        Oh, I’m sorry, I thought this was my SAT study group. I’ll just show myself to the door.

      • Alex K - Feb 24, 2012 at 11:13 AM

        The tests that were handled incorrectly prove nothing. That is the point.

      • gerryb323 - Feb 24, 2012 at 11:23 AM

        24!

  11. steelerfanforlife - Feb 24, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    I like this Craig character!

  12. ningenito78 - Feb 24, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    Anotheryx- thanks for the links. Monkeyarmy I agree to a point. There are many supplements out there that do have significant benefits to athletes. However they don’t mess with somebody’s hormones. The fact Braun’s sample came up with inhuman amounts of testosterone has not been disputed by either party. The excuse that his body is different then other people’s and makes more testosterone was laughable. The facts are the facts. Like I said before Braun got off on a technicality and it’s really that simple. If people want to just completely disregard the fact he failed a drug test fine. But for people like Craig to say people like myself have to admit we hate drug testing because we disagree with a singular ruling on a singular athlete is obnoxious. He came off as an apologist in his posts.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Feb 24, 2012 at 10:56 AM

      Honestly, I wasn’t even talking about athletes or Ryan Braun. I was just trying to further my anti-supplement agenda while enlightening the American consumer about the pitfalls of taking dietary supplements.

  13. neelymessier - Feb 24, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    He didn’t get off on a technicality in the legal sense. This was a breech of contract, period. The testing section of the contract says MLB must collect and ship the sample on the same day. Period. That’s it. There was no science necessary for Braun to present, showing how this breach of contract could have led to the result confirmed by two labs. Once they established breach of contract, officially the test “does not exist”. But it does exist and was confirmed by two labs. Braun’s camp has zero evidene as to how this breach caused the result, because there isn’t any scientific explanation. HE FAILED THE TEST. Walks away disingenuously claiming his “vindication” and “innocence’. Testosterone did not replicate or synthesize itself over the weekend. Not possible. Sorry Craig, your boy cheated, and now many celebrate because he’s a great player, an MVP, and a nice guy. But please explain a plausible theory as to how those results were obtained at two labs. You can’t. Braun did it, and walked. It’s a technicality because it would not change the result to have followed the contract. This is not like a criminal case where “chain of custody” usually means numerous people could have tammpered with the test or mislabeled the tube. Not the case here. Rant al you want, but I know you have NOTHING. If there was no contractual obligation to ship same day, he’s gone for 50, because there is no rational explanation for the positive results. Due process applies mosty to criminal cases where life and liberty are at stake. He got due process, the system worked, short of the leak. The purity of evidence in a workplace hearing is nowhere near a criminal trial.

    • nategearhart - Feb 24, 2012 at 12:14 PM

      Logic fail. If the protocol is violated, the test results do not exist. So how can he fail a test that does not exist?
      The results are officially stricken when the protocol is not followed. That means you have to strike them from your mind as well. As though the leak never occurred.

      • rubbernilly - Feb 24, 2012 at 12:34 PM

        Eh, no. I was with you until you said, “That means you have to strike them from your mind as well.”

        No, no I don’t.

        I will use my own judgment on that matter, thank you. If Occam’s Razor says that it’s more likley that the sample (a) degraded or (b) was tampered with than it was that (c) it was just Braun’s own fault that he got caught taking PEDs, then I will forget about it. If the Razor tips the other way, I’ll remember it. Even though I’ll say that MLB cannot enforce their penalty against him, I’ll still remember it. If I think it more likely that he cheated than that someone tampered with the sample, I’m going to think of it that way.

        My reason is the arbiter of my own judgment.

        Not that I’ve made up my mind on it. I’m still waiting to hear/read some discussion of what happens to samples that are not properly stored or handled (not that I expect much on that front, as FedEx is equally likely to leave a box in a hot warehouse or a cold warehouse, so I don’t expect that the chemistry of the sample is altered much), and also some discussion of the sample-taker. Does he have an axe to grind with MLB or with Braun? What is his story about how closely he protected the sample, and how much to I believe him?

        My guess is it will come down to a judgment of the sample-taker vs. a judgment of Braun.

        Which way do you think Occam’s Razor cuts on that question?

      • nategearhart - Feb 24, 2012 at 12:37 PM

        It doesn’t matter what is “more likely”. The testing process was compromised, so the test results are thrown out the window. Faulty test. Unusable results. Don’t use them.

      • rubbernilly - Feb 24, 2012 at 12:45 PM

        Don’t use them for punishment, sure.

        But for personal opinion? That’s another matter. There was a positive test attributed to Braun.

        The fact that he cannot be punished for it doesn’t lessen the question of *why* that test came back positive in the first place. The question still remains even if you say that the test doesn’t exist. Why did it come back positive in the first place? Was it tampered with? Was it degraded?

        If it’s more likely that he cheated than that the sample degraded or was tampered with, then it’s more likely. No getting around that.

      • nategearhart - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:22 PM

        You are admitting that you don’t know why it showed positive, and can’t possibly know. So why would you just assume that it’s because he cheated? You don’t HAVE to have an opinion about whether Ryan Braun is a cheater or not.

      • rubbernilly - Feb 24, 2012 at 4:10 PM

        I am admitting that I haven’t made up my mind about it. Not enough information yet. But I’m not forgetting that the positive test exists, and that’s where I differed with you. That’s why I referenced Occam’s Razor. I need more information on the rate of degradation as well as the person responsible for handling it.

        However, based on what I have gathered (and what I expect to find with regard to the other facets), I am expecting it will be more likely that Braun cheated than that someone is trying to set him up.

  14. stevem7 - Feb 24, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    Spot on perspective and the only thing left out was how terribly wrong Rob Manfred’s vote was. With clear proof that the steps of the protocol were violated, Manfred voted guilty anyway. Shows that no matter what MLB says, the players are guilty no matter what. The MLBPA’s should negotiate testing OUT of the CBA. There is nothing MLB can do because as we all know they can’t shut down baseball or they are out of business. If you are not willing to abide by the rules and procedures that you enacted and agreed to then clearly MLB has voided the agreement on drug testing and the program should be done away with.

  15. ningenito78 - Feb 24, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    Neelymessier- that’s it in a nutshell. What I get a kick out of is all the people here saying, basically, ‘hey the process worked. No 50 game suspension so you have to say he didn’t do anything wrong’. Bulls–t. He came up positive for a PED. Period. The ‘FACT’ that he’s had 20 negative tests means absolutely nothing. Cheaters don’t have to be using for years to be considered cheaters. That’s just the weakest defense possible.

    • nategearhart - Feb 24, 2012 at 12:16 PM

      He came up positive in a compromised test. Why do you insist in honoring the results of a compromised test?

  16. godcanfirealdavis - Feb 24, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    OJ was innocent too ,right??? I mean the authorities didn’t follow proper procedure and he walked..

    • nategearhart - Feb 24, 2012 at 12:29 PM

      OJ was found in a court of law to be NOT GUILTY (not innocent). An MLB employee compromised the results of a drug test.
      You do see the difference, right?

  17. rubbernilly - Feb 24, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    Talk about “intellectual dishonesty.”

    “Now we have a testing program. And it’s amazing to me just how quickly the end product of that testing program — no suspension for Ryan Braun — is diminished or outright dismissed when results aren’t what people wanted.”

    The testing program is supposed to settle the question of *did he* or *didn’t he*. It’s a substantive question. All that got settled in the Braun case is that the sample was mishandled. Your protestations aside, that’s a technicality. And that’s what has people upset at the “result.”

    It’s not that people didn’t like the result… it’s that it basically left us with a status quo of no result. There is a positive test out there attributed to Braun, with no explanation of why. The penalty cannot be affixed to Braun because of the technicality, but there is no explanation for the positive result. Someone might claim tampering, but at this point no one is going to investigate it.

    In other words, coming out of a time when there wasn’t a vibrant, rigorous testing program (ie, your reference to Bagwell), the League institutes the current program. To bring closure and definition to whether someone is cheating. The reason people are bashing the system is not because they don’t like the result, it’s because it *failed* to provide answers.

    Lastly, as far as anyone saying that they believe Braun is still a cheat, they’re entitled to that opinion. Frankly, well… Occam’s Razor. It seems far more likely that he did cheat (and the elevated T was from his PED use) than it seems likely that someone deliberately set out to frame him for cheating.

    The only intellectual dishonesty that arises (aside from your own about readers’ reaction to the story) is when someone says that they believe that Braun is a cheater *AND* that he should still be punished despite the mishandled sample. However, it doesn’t even necessarily arise there, as there are arguments to be made that would diminish the impact of the way the sample was handled, for instance. My point is that MLB might argue some of those same points, so you can’t blame a fan for arguing it, too.

    Your dichotomy (either believe Braun to be clean or declare that you have no regard for the testing program) is highly, *HIGHLY* laughable. Just because you can’t see shades of gray doesn’t mean others cannot, as well.

  18. El Bravo - Feb 24, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    Craig, perhaps I’m seeing different reactions than you from people, which is most likely true….but the most common response I’m getting is: NO ONE knows if he really cheated. That is the problem with this ruling is that nothing is cleared up. Now, some will make their own conclusion, as you seem to have (i.e. he didn’t cheat…not that you directly say this but it’s becoming implicit the more you write on the subject). Others will call him a cheater forevermore. Most will not have a conclusion to make b/c there are no facts for us to base them off of.

    My biggest issue with your take is that you are siding with Braun and claiming chain of custoday was plenty reason enough to call him innocent (as opposed to not guilty). I think you go too far. The chain of custoday in place is new, and thus has been shown to have flaws, which will be fixed now. If this same scenario goes down again in the future, the result will not be the same. Thus, again, no one knows what happened with Braun, so taking any side is out of pure conjecture, not fact. I think you are bit of a culprit here as much as the haters are in picking sides. You reaction wouldn’t be so harsh otherwise. Maybe you’re just lashing out at the haters, I dunno.

    • rubbernilly - Feb 24, 2012 at 12:35 PM

      This.

  19. mbdsta - Feb 24, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    Craig must be on some performance de-enhancing drugs right now. So you can’t be angry that a guy that had a ration of 30 to 1 gets off scott free when a ratio of 4 to 1 is generally accepted as irrefutable evidence of being on juice, and his LAWYERS never once argued that the science was bad or that his client was clean and the chain of custody issue gave a false positive? They never even argued that the sample was tainted.

    His argument isn’t and was never that he didn’t juice, just that he shouldn’t be punished for it b/c some guy kept his pee in the fridge for a night, and according to the standards, that’s not even a clear violation of the protocol. These aren’t just some random jerk-weeds that need a job carrying piss around. This is what they do for a living. They are PAID and TRAINED to do this. It’s the HIGHEST positive test result EVER and that can be discarded because a guy hired to do the testing did something that isn’t even clearly wrong. Now we’re watching history being re-written right in our face. At least when Bagwell and Caminiti and Luis Gonzalez and all these other guys that were probably on juice, we could say “Ok, I guess we don’t REALLY know for sure since they didn’t test positive.” But here, we KNOW he’s guilty, he and his lawyers never argued that he wasn’t guilty, and we’re being asked to just accept that the system is so flawed that something perhaps the worst 1 season offender gets off because he has super-team of lawyers, and people that have NEVER tested positive get crushed by the media and the finger-wagging baseball writers who proclaim to know everything and to refuse to vote for some of the greatest players of all time and keep them out of the hall simply because they “know” they were on something? Please. Matt Kemp was the MVP. This was propaganda to protect one of MLB’s favorite sons (and I WAS a big Braun fan, drafted him #1 in my Fantasy League this year — and yes I’d happily give back my 9th place finish by the way).

    This article was dumb. Normally Craig is on, but not on this one. We can be angry about this outcome AND care of drug testing, they are not mutually exclusive. That doesn’t even make sense. That’s WHY we’re angry. We’re being told there’s drug testing but the truth is there’s no real punishment when it comes to a superstar in his prime (i.e., not Manny). Whether that’s true or not, that’s what it looks like. No one has EVER won an appeal, and now we see you can win one when a guy trained to do this and follows the protocol w/ at best a minor technical failure? It’s like he pulled out his balls and rubbed them in our faces. That’s something to be angry about.

    • Alex K - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:17 PM

      Do you know all the evidence that his lawyers presented? Unless you were in the room, no. So I don’t think you can say that they never once argued anything.

      Also, do you know that no player ever has won an appeal? If a player wins an appeal we should never know that there was a need for an appeal. So unless you have first hand knowledge about every test ever done by MLB you should probably hold off on saying this.

      After the procedure was not followed the test proves nothing. I, personally, won’t make any judgement of Braun until/unless more evidence is provided.

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

        What kind of sense does that make? If he wins the appeal then we wouldn’t have known that he won the appeal? Isn’t that what just happened here?

        From ESPN: Kemp declined to address information sources told ESPN that Braun’s successful appeal was based mostly on a technicality centered on how Braun’s urine sample was handled during the testing process, meaning it seemed to fall short of proving Braun’s actual innocence.

        * You’ve heard of plenty of people’s positive tests being announced and you’ve heard of people serving out their suspensions. Have you ever heard of anyone winning an appeal?

        From USA TODAY:It was a stunning and significant victory for Braun, who said in a statement that he was “pleased and relieved” by the result. But it was a blow of sorts to Major League Baseball’s drug-testing program, as Braun became the first player to successfully appeal a positive drug test result.

        * Like you, I get all of my information on this issue from what’s reported by the media and in this case, everything is attributed to “sources”. Maybe it’s all lies and the “sources” have it all wrong and you can simply dismiss what’s reported. But if any of this is true, then it shows the flaw and is the source of the anger. The guy had a 30 to 1 ratio. How does that happen by accident? All I know on it is what “sources” say and I’ve heard all over the radio that “sources” say the lawyers didn’t argue innocence or bad science or tainted samples. They argued the guy didn’t drop the pee off at Fed Ex on time and I guess we’re supposed to assume that he had a steroid-laced fridge that bumped the samples up to 30 to 1, the highest tested ratio ever. The lawyers, according to the sources, didn’t even say the seal was broken on the container. Obviously, THAT would be a problem.

      • Alex K - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:17 PM

        Let me be more clear, then.

        The public shouldn’t find out about the results of a drug test of a MLB player unless he serves a suspension. That means that if they win the appeal, the public should never have knowledge of the test. From there I ask, how do you know a player has never won an appeal? This was leaked- it wasn’t announced by MLB.

        Also, don’t you find it odd that his ratio was 3 times the highest amount recorded in all the years of testing in baseball (this infor came straight from Braun). How did he find the super steroid to give him those levels? And how did they leave his body within 18 days?

        I’m not saying he’s guilty or innocent. Just that we don’t know, and it’s unfortunate that this ever came to light.

  20. mike8016 - Feb 24, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    Wasnt he forced to take a 2nd test test after the first positive and didnt he fail both? How can we let this man play baseball still After failing 2 drug tests.

  21. blabidibla - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    So those that think Braun is clean must believe that someone broke into this man’s house without anyone seeing, found Braun’s sample in the basement, were able to magically get around the seals put on the sample and place tainted urine inside the cup, then re-seal it without any evidence of tampering.

    You people are ridiculous.

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

      Name a commenter here who thinks he’s clean.
      All we’re saying is that a positive test does not officially exist. And if it doesn’t exist, you can’t use it to claim he cheated.

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

        Actually, a positive test does exist. “officially” has nothing to do with whether or not he cheated, just like the fact that OJ was not found “officially” guilty of killing 2 people doesn’t mean he didn’t actually kill 2 people. Braun actually cheated and got away with it. That’s the point. Winning the appeal doesn’t mean he didn’t cheat.

      • gerryb323 - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:15 PM

        mbdsta….but just because OJ was not found officially guilty of killing 2 people doesn’t mean that he did either.

        that is the case we have here. There is a reason for chain of custody. It is as if the positive test never existed…

      • blabidibla - Feb 27, 2012 at 5:12 PM

        There is no “official” test proving Bonds cheated either. This is apologist thinking.

        The fact that the test was invalidated doesn’t mean we the people can’t claim the truth. MLB can’t use it to suspend him, but everyone with a brain can indeed claim he cheated because his piss was in the bottle. We know that because he signed off on it.

  22. lanflfan - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    For the good of baseball, I really want to believe Ryan Braun is innocent. If he stays clean and hits well next year then I see no problem in saying he was clean last year. Could be right, could be wrong, but unless someone has a DeLorean with a flux capacitor we will never know.

  23. lovinthatsomanyhateonnd - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    im seriously disappointed that he is claiming innocence, when he admits the back up test also showed abnormal levels of testosterone. So, he wasnt “clean”, he just got away with it due to a technicality. id rather he just kept quiet and played this year…Thats not to say i dont think the arbitrator made the right call though. Like i said, he just got lucky that the collector made a serious mistake.

  24. bbk1000 - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    Lyin’ Ryan Braun, from PED’s to MVP…gotta love it….

  25. artisan3m - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    Obtain two samples ~ at the same time ~ use two different labs to run tests. If they both agree, its pretty much a slam-dunk. If not, then discard both results and re-test. I’m fairly certain MLB can afford two independent testing facilities. “False positives” are not uncommon but the odds of two different labs having that outcome on separate samples are astronomical. Chain of custody is paramount else provisions dictating its application would not exist. Its not a “technicality,” it is a process and it must be followed with precision. We should learn from our mistakes ~ and relying on just one lab report suggests that lab is infallible and there is nothing to substantiate that as absolute.

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