Ryan Braun: A Technicality

By d.j. Stockton

If you are the Milwaukee Brewers or Ryan Braun, Thursday was the best day you’ve had since the last time the Brewers won a game.  If you happen to be the rest of the league or anyone else you have to be scratching your head because Ryan Braun has been ruled innocent by an arbitration panel due to a technicality.  A technicality that overlooks a positive test for elevated levels of testosterone.  That dark cloud of suspicion still remains overhead.  I do not feel sorry for him but am more than a little upset that he will not be punished for this positive test rather he will be free to play in as many games as he is physically able.  It is a great thing for the Brewers and a horrible thing for the rest of the National League as they are now fit to win the Central Division.  Over all, Thursday was a horrible day for Major League Baseball.


At this point in time you might be thinking that I am upset because Braun will most certainly be playing against my favorite team and dampening their chance at winning the NL Central.  Well I hate to burst your bubble but I know the Cubs have no chance of winning the division unless a miracle happens, so I’m glad we got that out of the way.  I respect Braun for what he did on the field last year and all previous years, whether or not he did it while using performance enhancing drugs or not is a moot point to me because he still had to hit the ball.  What I am more concerned about is that Braun failed a test and nothing is going to result from that failed test.  We are never going to get the full story on what happened because of confidentiality agreements however porous they might be.  And I’m sure that one day someone will write a tell-all book about how Braun beat the system but that won’t be the truth either.  The truth is forever lost.


From what I can gather from articles that I’ve read on ESPN.com and Yahoo.com is that Braun’s Camp did not argue the failed test but rather the protocol in getting that test to the testing facility.  That’s like letting a murderer go free because the murder weapon wasn’t brought to the courtroom following the correct steps of the courtroom deputy.  We’re not talking about a murder weapon, we are talking about a sample that was in a tamper proof container that wasn’t delivered to FedEx the same day as it was obtained.  However, the sample did arrive to the testing facility in the exact same condition without any evidence of tampering.  The person who handled the sample did not deliver it to a FedEx location because it was late on a Saturday Night and he didn’t think it would be open.  So the sample sat for an extra day.  Correct me if I’m wrong,  but to my knowledge testosterone does not magically multiple while sitting in a test tube.  I base that assumption on no medical background unless you count the fact that my medical file is a couple encyclopedia editions thick.


The issue is that we have a well-liked superstar from the Milwaukee Brewers, a team that was owned by Bud Selig, who has enough talent to possibly set some records down the line who failed a drug test.  It just so happened that there was this little mishap in the handling of that sample which was supposed to be confidential but it somehow got out.  MLB has said they are seeking all their options to pursue in this case but for whatever reason I doubt anything will come of it.  Ryan Braun needs to be punished for this failed test because that is what has been mandated by the drug policy in the collective bargaining agreement.  So for an extra day the sample was left in the care of the person who was supposed to deliver it to FedEx?  Was that guy an expert on opening sealed samples without anyone being able to tell?  If the integrity of the sample was not compromised then the failed test should stand.  Try this, the next time a bill is delivered a day late don’t pay it and claim that since it did not arrive on the proper day you aren’t paying it.  Just let me know how that turns out for you.


Ryan Braun won his appeal on a technicality.  He should be suspended for the first 50 games of the 2012 season for a failed drug test.

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