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Friday, February 24, 2012

ryan braun appeal

ryan braun appeal




Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun has won his appeal and will not serve a suspension for a positive drug test late last season, CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman has confirmed. The news was first reported by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. This means arbitrator Shyam Das ruled Braun was not guilty in his failed test -- which showed elevated testosterone levels.

The appeal was held in front of Major League Baseball, the MLB Players Association and Das, a third-party arbitrator. The chain of custody of the sample is where Braun won the appeal. His side argued it was improperly handled and there must have been enough evidence to convince Das.

The sample in question was collected on Oct. 1, a Saturday and the day the Brewers opened the NL playoffs. The collector did not send the sample to the laboratory until Monday, thinking it would be more secure at home than at a Federal Express office during the weekend. Baseball's drug agreement states that "absent unusual circumstances, the specimens should be sent by FedEx to the laboratory on the same day they are collected."

Major League Baseball, for one, is not happy. Here's the statement released by MLB executive vice president for labor relations Rob Manfred: “Major League Baseball considers the obligations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program essential to the integrity of our game, our Clubs and all of the players who take the field. 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.

“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.”

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

Das has been baseball's independent arbitrator since 2000 and this is the first successful drug test-related appeal.

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. Now that he wants to play again and since he missed most of last year, he will only need to serve a 50-game penalty.

Braun has maintained his innocence since word of his positive test leaked after the Winter Meetings. Sources told CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler that when Braun found out he had tested positive for a banned substance he requested a second test, which came up negative. Braun then appealed the first failed test, and the results were supposed to stay confidential, but an ESPN report outed Braun's test on December 10 and the story has been lingering since then.

Braun, 28, won the NL MVP in 2011 when he hit .332/.397/.597 with 33 homers, 111 RBI and 109 runs for the NL Central-winning Brewers. He will join his teammates in Brewers camp Friday, as scheduled.
National League MVP Ryan Braun's 50-game suspension was overturned Thursday by baseball arbitrator Shyam Das, the first time a baseball player 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.

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 co-operation 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."

No reasoning was given for Thursday's decision.

"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.

Management in disagreement
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."

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

Brewers owner Mark Attanasio was pleased his best player was vindicated.

"Since joining our organization in 2005, Ryan Braun has been a model citizen and a person of character and integrity. Knowing Ryan as I do, I always believed he would succeed in his appeal," Attanasio said in a statement. "It is unfortunate that the confidentiality of the program was compromised, and we thank our fans and everyone who supported Ryan and did not rush to judgment."

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

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.

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.

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.

During the hearing, Braun's side challenged the chain of custody from the time the urine sample was collected by Comprehensive Drug Testing Inc. to when it was sent nearly 48 hours later to a World Anti-Doping Agency-certified laboratory in Montreal, the person said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because what took place in the hearing is supposed to be confidential.

Baseball's drug agreement states that "absent unusual circumstances, the specimens should be sent by FedEx to the laboratory on the same day they are collected."

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.

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.

"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."
On Thursday, a three-person panel heard Ryan Braun's appeal of a 50-game suspension stemming from a positive test for raised levels of testosterone, CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman has confirmed.

The three members of the panel were MLB Players Association executive director Michael Weiner, MLB executive vice president for labor relations Rob Manfred and independent arbitrator Shyam Das, according to the New York Daily News, which first reported the story.

Braun is expected to make a short speech when he accepts his 2011 National League Most Valuable Player Award at Saturday's Baseball Writers' Association of America dinner in New York.

Braun's representatives have repeatedly denied allegations that the Brewers outfielder took performance-enhancing drugs.

According to Heyman, no major league player has successfully appealed a positive drug test.

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