Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun won the National League MVP in 2011 after a phenomenal season. Then, in early December it was reported that he tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs following a drug test administered during the playoffs.
Since news of his positive test was made public, Braun has professed his innocence through his spokespeople. Well, now the 28-year-old’s appeal of his 50-game suspension for that positive test is underway and he finally has a chance to present his side of the story.
Braun’s test originally raised red flags because of the presence of elevated levels of testosterone. Upon further examination that testosterone turned out to be synthetic. That’s a really bad sign for Braun, considering how difficult it is to appeal a Major League Baseball suspension. In fact, a baseball arbitrator has never ordered a suspension overturned as the result of a grievance hearing.
Under the agreement between the players’ association and Major League Baseball, Braun will have to prove that “the presence of a prohibited substance in his urine was not due to his fault or negligence.”
Good luck kid.
Major League Baseball has not actually confirmed the positive test because baseball’s drug agreement says first positive tests are not made public until after the appeals process is over. The appeal is actually supposed to remain private but a source leaked news of the proceeding to the New York Daily News. It was also leaked that Shyam Das is the arbitrator hearing the case.
Braun is scheduled to receive his now-tarnished MVP Award on Saturday at the annual dinner for the New York chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. He is expected to speak to the crowd, but not take questions from reporters.
The former National League Rookie of the Year edged Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp to win the MVP this past season. He finished the year hitting .312, with 33 home runs, 111 RBI and led the Brewers to an NL Central crown and a berth in the NL championship series.