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Offline Zero2Cool  
#1 Posted : Thursday, February 23, 2012 6:50:54 PM(UTC)
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ESPN wrote:
NEW YORK -- National League MVP Ryan Braun's 50-game suspension was overturned Thursday by baseball arbitrator Shyam Das, and a source told ESPN that Major League Baseball officials are livid over the decision.

Braun's case marks the first time a baseball player has successfully challenged a drug-related penalty in a grievance.

The decision was announced Thursday by the Major League Baseball Players Association, one day before the 28-year-old outfielder was due to report to spring training with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Fantasy Spin: Braun Back In First Round

Milwaukee Brewers OF Ryan Braun has successfully appealed his suspension for a positive drug test. And barring further developments he is once again worthy of a first-round selection, writes ESPN.com's Tristan H. Cockcroft. Story

Braun tested positive in October for elevated testosterone, and ESPN revealed the positive test in December.

"I am very pleased and relieved by today's decision," Braun said in a statement. "It is the first step in restoring my good name and reputation. We were able to get through this because I am innocent and the truth is on our side.

"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."

Braun didn't argue evidence of tampering and didn't dispute the science, but argued protocol had not been followed. A second source confirmed to ESPN investigative reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and T.J. Quinn that Braun questioned the chain of custody and collection procedure.

According to one of the sources, the collector, after getting Braun's sample, was supposed to take the sample to a FedEx Office for shipping.

But the source said the collector thought the FedEx Office was closed because it was late on a Saturday and felt the sample wouldn't get shipped until Monday.

As has occurred in some other instances, the collector took the sample home and kept it in a cool place, in his basement at his residence in Wisconsin, according to the source.

Policy states that the sample is supposed to get to FedEx as soon as possible.

Braun's initial T/E ratio was more than 20:1. Sources previously confirmed synthetic testosterone in his system. A source says MLB is livid and is considering options and other comment.

Hill and Schlereth

ESPN Investigative Reporter Mark Fainaru-Wada explains how and why Ryan Braun's suspension appeal was upheld by Major League Baseball.

The source told ESPN the seals were totally intact and testing never reflected any degradation of the sample. Based on the World Anti-Doping Agency code, this is exactly what would have been expected to happen, and the collector took the proper action, the source said.

The source also noted that synthetic testosterone doesn't just show up because a sample sits in one place or another.

Travis Tygart, chief executive officer of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, called the decision "a real gut-kick to clean athletes."

"To have this sort of technicality of all technicalities let a player off ... it's just a sad day for all the clean players and those that abide by the rules within professional baseball," he said.

The players association did not supply reasoning behind Thursday's decision.

A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that, after being informed of the positive result, Braun asked to have another urine test taken, and that the second test was within normal range.

An evidentiary hearing on Braun's appeal was held Jan. 19-20 in New York, ending the day before the player accepted the NL MVP award at a black-tie dinner.

"Today the arbitration panel announced its decision, by a 2-1 vote, to sustain Ryan Braun's grievance challenging his 50-game suspension by the commissioner's office," a statement from the players' association said.

MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred and union head Michael Weiner are part of the arbitration panel, and management and the union almost always split their votes, leaving Das, the independent panel member, to make the decision.

Manfred said management disagreed with the decision by Das. It is the first time a drug suspension has been overturned in a grievance, baseball officials said.

"It has always been Major League Baseball's position that no matter who tests positive, we will exhaust all avenues in pursuit of the appropriate discipline. We have been true to that position in every instance, because baseball fans deserve nothing less," Manfred said. "As a part of our drug testing program, the commissioner's office and the players' association agreed to a neutral third party review for instances that are under dispute. While we have always respected that process, Major League Baseball vehemently disagrees with the decision rendered today by arbitrator Shyam Das."

Attempts by ESPN to reach Das have been unsuccessful.

Braun hit .312 with 33 homers and 111 RBIs last year and led Milwaukee to the NL Championship Series, where the Brewers lost to the eventual World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals. The Brewers are counting on his offense following the departure of Prince Fielder, who became a free agent and signed with the Detroit Tigers.

Braun already was signed through 2015 when the Brewers gave him a new deal running through 2020 that added $105 million and guaranteed him a total of $145.5 million over a decade.

"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 #exonerated."

Brewers closer John Axford added on Twitter: "All I can say is that Braun has exemplary character is continuing to handle this in an unbelievable manner."

Positive tests for performance-enhancing drugs have been relatively rare under the major league testing program, with just two others in 2011: Tampa Bay outfielder Manny Ramirez and Colorado Rockies catcher Eliezer Alfonzo. Ramirez at first retired rather than face a 100-game suspension for a second positive test. Wanting to return this year, he is serving a 50-game penalty -- the length was shortened because he missed most of last year.

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Offline Zero2Cool  
#2 Posted : Thursday, February 23, 2012 6:53:14 PM(UTC)
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Aaron Rodgers (Twitter) wrote:
MLB and cable sports tried to sully the reputation of an innocent man. Picked the wrong guy to mess with. Truth will set u free #exonerated. When its guilty until proven innocent, all u need are the facts. #howsthecrowmlb #exonerated.

I’ll let my buddy take it from here. All u idiots talking about technicality open up for some crow too. See if Espn gets pressured not to . . . let the people hear the truth. Should get interesting. #exonerated#shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.


Here's an article on PFT.

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Offline Nonstopdrivel  
#3 Posted : Friday, February 24, 2012 7:48:28 AM(UTC)
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It might be Aaron Rodgers who wants to shut his mouth here. In this case, overturning of the suspension does not exactly equate to exoneration. Braun himself never disputed the validity of the tests themselves, just the chain of custody of the samples. He left it to the public to draw their own conclusions -- that perhaps the samples were tampered with after protocol was not followed -- but there was no evidence of such tampering. The seals were fully intact. In choosing the tack he took, Braun all but tacitly admitted the results were valid. I'm not saying I don't think he should have gotten off on this technicality -- I think preservation of the chain of custody is of paramount importance, and this defeat will probably spur MLB to tighten up procedures -- but to say that Braun's innocence was vindicated here would be a huge stretch. His second, normal urine test is no evidence of his innocence, since from what I have read, it has been shown that second tests taken the same day as a positive result can show normal hormone levels.

I am actually disappointed this was how he got off the hook. I had hoped information substantiating his innocence would emerge. Now for the rest of his career, a cloud of suspicion that he probably got away with a fast one will be hanging over his head.
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Offline wpr  
#4 Posted : Friday, February 24, 2012 8:40:43 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Nonstopdrivel Go to Quoted Post
It might be Aaron Rodgers who wants to shut his mouth here. In this case, overturning of the suspension does not exactly equate to exoneration. Braun himself never disputed the validity of the tests themselves, just the chain of custody of the samples. He left it to the public to draw their own conclusions -- that perhaps the samples were tampered with after protocol was not followed -- but there was no evidence of such tampering. The seals were fully intact. In choosing the tack he took, Braun all but tacitly admitted the results were valid. I'm not saying I don't think he should have gotten off on this technicality -- I think preservation of the chain of custody is of paramount importance, and this defeat will probably spur MLB to tighten up procedures -- but to say that Braun's innocence was vindicated here would be a huge stretch. His second, normal urine test is no evidence of his innocence, since from what I have read, it has been shown that second tests taken the same day as a positive result can show normal hormone levels.

I am actually disappointed this was how he got off the hook. I had hoped information substantiating his innocence would emerge. Now for the rest of his career, a cloud of suspicion that he probably got away with a fast one will be hanging over his head.


Agreed and what I posted on the other Braun thread. Many people (both innocent and guilty) have won on technicalities. It doesn't prove anything other than we have procedures and they must be followed.
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Offline Zero2Cool  
#5 Posted : Monday, February 27, 2012 2:59:10 PM(UTC)
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Nothing wrong with the guy speaking out for his friend who was going through something pretty shitty. You guys have no loyalty at all to your friends huh? Just cower behind the shades when your buddy is getting beat around? Wimps! :)

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Offline wpr  
#6 Posted : Monday, February 27, 2012 3:32:54 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Zero2Cool Go to Quoted Post
Nothing wrong with the guy speaking out for his friend who was going through something pretty shitty. You guys have no loyalty at all to your friends huh? Just cower behind the shades when your buddy is getting beat around? Wimps! :)


Are you still harping on that? Boy talk about beating a Beating Deadhorse

Neener, Neener
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Offline nathaniel  
#7 Posted : Sunday, March 4, 2012 3:41:56 PM(UTC)
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Braun never challenged the validity of the tests, which he could have done. He offered to take a DNA test to prove they weren't his samples, MLB said "OK", then Braun backed out. He was let off on a technicality that had NOTHING to do with the test results. All the seals on the actual sample, the bag and the box were all completely sealed and not tampered with. The A and B samples ended up with the exact same results.

When Braun decides to challenge the actual test results instead of the method of transportation, then I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. The fact that anyone sees this as an acquittal and complete explanation of the test results is just a tad delusional. Again, the appeal has NOTHING to do with the test results, and Braun hasn't challenged the results. That really can't be stated enough. If someone accused me of something I didn't do, and my only legal action was to discredit that person instead of proving my innocence, I'd sure as hell expect people to be skeptical of me. His next move will be going after ESPN for leaking his name, and he has every right to do that. It should have been confidential and anonymous. But remember, his first legal action wasn't to prove his innocence, but to discredit the collector. There's a big difference.

Now, how do you all feel about Roger Clemens? There is literally more testable evidence against Ryan Braun than there is against Roger Clemens, but I'm sure I can speak for everyone when I say Roger Clemens is a cheater. Even I believe that. Innocent until proven guilty, though, right? So how is that fair? Is it because Ryan Braun plays for the Brewers? Because he's Aaron Rodgers' friend? Anyone else gets off on this technicality and I highly doubt anyone gives them the benefit of the doubt. Including me.
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Offline Zero2Cool  
#8 Posted : Sunday, March 4, 2012 4:43:05 PM(UTC)
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I feel after the first sentence I lost interest because it started off inaccurate. So many love to knock others down to make themselves feel above them. Pathetic society we live in these days.

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Offline Nonstopdrivel  
#9 Posted : Sunday, March 4, 2012 5:05:44 PM(UTC)
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Uh, what? His first sentence is entirely accurate. Braun challenged the chain of custody, not the test results themselves. He never once disputed the scientific validity of the results. Your ad hominem is unwarranted.
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Offline Zero2Cool  
#10 Posted : Sunday, March 4, 2012 7:47:02 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Nonstopdrivel Go to Quoted Post
Uh, what? His first sentence is entirely accurate. Braun challenged the chain of custody, not the test results themselves. He never once disputed the scientific validity of the results. Your ad hominem is unwarranted.


lmao o.k. won't be going through this again here as I did with CNN punks and ESPN nimrods.


Believe whichever flavor of bullshit tastes best! Nuts anyone?


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Offline Porforis  
#11 Posted : Monday, March 5, 2012 10:54:18 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Nonstopdrivel Go to Quoted Post
Uh, what? His first sentence is entirely accurate. Braun challenged the chain of custody, not the test results themselves. He never once disputed the scientific validity of the results. Your ad hominem is unwarranted.


When you're fighting something in court or in a situation like this - innocent or otherwise, are you going to try to disprove everything you were accused of, or take the best shot you can to get off the hook? If you were accused of a severe crime, would you rather be in prison for 15 years or live your life a free man where most people are convinced you're guilty and got off on a technicality? Braun gains little with the DNA test if he and his (legal) team is confident that going a different route is a better chance to get him off the hook.
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Offline Nonstopdrivel  
#12 Posted : Tuesday, March 6, 2012 5:51:08 AM(UTC)
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What's your point? The point is that nathaniel made a factually accurate statement, and Kevin jumped on him and impugned his integrity. I never said I agreed or disagreed with nathaniel's overall thesis, because I think that's beside the point. Regardless of what Braun's motives were for the strategy he adopted, I don't think Kevin's attack was was called for.

Edited by user Tuesday, March 6, 2012 6:07:12 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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Offline Porforis  
#13 Posted : Tuesday, March 6, 2012 6:14:20 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Nonstopdrivel Go to Quoted Post
What's your point? The point is that nathaniel made a factually accurate statement, and Kevin jumped on him and impugned his integrity. I never said I agreed or disagreed with nathaniel's overall thesis, because I think that's beside the point. Regardless of what Braun's motives were for the strategy he adopted, I don't think Kevin's attack was was called for.


Well that's pretty boring.
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Offline Zero2Cool  
#14 Posted : Tuesday, March 6, 2012 7:00:34 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: nathaniel Go to Quoted Post
Braun never challenged the validity of the tests, which he could have done. He offered to take a DNA test to prove they weren't his samples, MLB said "OK", then Braun backed out.


Quote:
Ryan Braun won his appeal of his positive drug test on Thursday, and yesterday the Brewers outfielder and reigning National League MVP flatly denied ever using performance-enhancing drugs.


Originally Posted by: Nonstopdrivel Go to Quoted Post
What's your point? The point is that nathaniel made a factually accurate statement, and Kevin jumped on him and impugned his integrity. I never said I agreed or disagreed with nathaniel's overall thesis, because I think that's beside the point. Regardless of what Braun's motives were for the strategy he adopted, I don't think Kevin's attack was was called for.


I'm going to have to read up on the meaning of "factually accurate". Try to keep in mind that Ryan Braun's results were NEVER supposed to be made public UNTIL the conclusion of the appeal. Thus, he was not PERMITTED to speak directly about certain aspects of the results, such as validity. Did you not read his "lawyer speak" statement when it was first WRONGFULLY made public?

ESPN put Ryan Braun in a shitty position. They made public the results prior to his appeal being concluded and because HE obeyed the rules, he's gonna be blasted for it? Pretty ignorant and uncalled for if you ask me for my opinion.

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Offline Pack93z  
#15 Posted : Tuesday, March 6, 2012 8:44:56 AM(UTC)
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Couple of random thoughts without barbs, but I shall preface it with this, I would not wager a penny either way if he did or did not have something in his sample. We don't have all the facts that were presented to the panel.


1) Braun was robbed of confidentiality.. unfairly.

2) We don't know the timing of the DNA test offer and whom really didn't want to follow through with it.

3) Braun's team went through the process step by step and attacked every link.

4) How is he really suppose to challenge the test itself if something improper happened with the sample?

5) Explain why MLB isn't talking about the "B" sample and what it showed? Or why Braun isn't talking about it for that matter.

6) 25 clean tests to one with some handling problems.. I think the panel made the right call in overturning this one. Plain an simple, written protocol to operating protocol varied.

7) I think sports as a whole have a ways to go in the testing process to truly weed out PED's and provide some protections to players in general to ensure privacy and due process before there careers are brought into question.

8) I do believe this story is not closed yet.. and honestly as a Brewer fan, I don't know that is a good thing.

I want to believe that Braun is completely innocent, but we have heard those adamant words of denial before. Personally, I choose to believe his innocence until proven guilty. Not in reverse.


I think when there's enough will and aggression, there's no shortage of talent either.

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