As I wrote back in November, shortly after the National League crowned its MVP, Ryan Braun is one of my very favorite players. Just shortly after claiming his first ever MVP award, it was made public that he tested positive test for performance enhancing drugs. His urine was found to have elevated testosterone levels. The public nature of the investigation and appeals process drug Ryan Braun’s good name through the mud.
He argued that he never intentionally violated the MLB’s drug policy and (with great bias), I’m willing to believe him. Braun claimed innocence throughout the entire ordeal and yesterday (Thursday, 2/23), became the first player to successfully appeal a suspension under Major League Baseball’s anti-drug policy.
Ryan Braun explained:
“We provided complete cooperation throughout, despite the highly unusual circumstances. I have been an open book, willing to share details from every aspect of my life as part of this investigation, because I have nothing to hide. I have passed over 25 drug tests in my career, including at least three in the past year.”
Green Bay Packers star Quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, also chimed and said:
“MLB and cable sports tried to sully the reputation of an innocent man,” Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said on Twitter. “Picked the wrong guy to mess with. Truth will set u free”
Good for you Rodgers. I think I just became an Aaron Rodgers fan, as if there was reason to not like him before (save his Cal-Berkeley ties). To be fair though, I must admit that Mr. Braun got off on a legal technicality. His urine sample was mishandled. Well, not really even mishandled. It wasn’t at the FedEx office when it was supposed to be. A “Chain of Custody” issue was enough for the lawyers to convince the third-party arbitrators to drop the suspension. Nonetheless, to see him vindicated was rewarding as I’ve been telling everyone from the start that he was innocent. (Why is it that everyone believed David Ortiz, but nobody was willing to believe Ryan braun?)
Finally, I think it is worth noting that Braun’s test results should have never gone public, and this should have never been a story. This blog post shouldn’t exist, so I’ll stop.
“A positive test result is not supposed to be made public until a player’s punishment is official. Since Braun, technically, was never punished, he has a right to feel persecuted by whoever leaked the story.”
To read about Braun’s MVP season from a Moneyball perspective, take a look at this: Evaluating the 2011 NL MVP: Marketing research Collides With Baseball.
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