Marlins Fan's Blog
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So we all know that Ryan Braun was reported to have failed a drug test last year.  Apparently his urine sample was collected on October 1, 2011, but was not mailed out until 44 hours later, which according to MLB's bylaws made the sample invalid.

According to MLB, a urine sample has to be mailed within 24 hours of collection otherwise the sample is not suitable for testing.  So according to those rules laid down by MLB, the arbitrator handling Braun's suspension was absolutely 100% justified in overturning the 50 game suspension Braun received as a result of the failed test.

Basically there's a system in place that is there to prevent any type of questions being raised regarding the authenticity of the urine, and MLB's people did not follow protocol so the case is basically dismissed and Braun's season will go on as if he never produced a sample indicating extremely high levels of testosterone.

Was it the right call by the arbitrator?  Of course it was.  He gave the issue due process and ultimately made the right call.  Regardless of the evidence pointing towards Braun's guilt, the arbitrator made the correct decision in throwing out the suspension.

But...  that doesn't mean Braun is in the clear in all regards.

For one thing, there is significant evidence pointing to Braun's guilt in this matter.  For example, his testosterone levels were extraordinarily high.  Now some of you might buy Braun's theory of tampering, but there is NO reason to believe anything of that sort.

The urine receptacle had three tamper-proof seals on it, and all were intact when Braun's sample was delivered.

Also although MLB requires the sample to be mailed within 24 hours of collection, that is actually an unusual law.  For example, the US Anti-Doping Agency has no problem with the way Braun's sample was collected and stored, and if MLB had implemented the USADA's rules and regulations Braun would still be serving a 50-game suspension.

For another thing, Braun has been letting us know that he was confident all along that he would be exonerated and said he was "proven to be innocent".

I call BS.  He was NOT proven innocent.  He was let off on a technicality; a technicality that will most certainly force MLB to review and revise their regulations concerning collection and storage of urine samples.

As I saw a sports writer say in a different forum, what happened with Braun was the equivalent of a drug dealer being caught with hard evidence but ultimately having his case dismissed due to the arresting officers forgetting to read the perp his Miranda Rights.

So in summary, yes, Braun's overturned suspension was the correct end result based off due process.

But to say that this clears his name or proves his innocence is lunacy.

The man failed a drug test but is not being punished due to improper sample handling.  But it still looks bad; it still looks like he got away with cheating.  And most likely he did.  Unfortunately we'll never know for certain because the evidence was mishandled, but there will forever be an asterisk next to Braun's name in the record books, and fans will always have that doubt in their minds when pondering Braun's place in MLB history.  Just imagine...  if Braun only hits 15-20 homeruns next season, many people are going to start wondering if it's because he no longer has a little extra something giving him the upper hand.  This issue will never go away; ever.

 

It's just an assumption on my part, but it definitely looks like Braun got away with cheating and at this point the least he could do is stop telling us how the system "proved his innocence".

And that, my friends, is all.

February 24, 2012  11:46 PM ET

Good read.

I don't typically follow baseball news but this story caught my eye, I guess because PED testing is universal in the sports world.

And I would have to agree. Mishandled procedure does not prove Ryan Braun innocent; it just saves him from serving the suspension.

February 24, 2012  11:46 PM ET

Very well done, Marlins. I agree with everything you said. Ryan Braun just needs to **** and stop acting like the evidence him was proven false. It wasn't. The moron in charge of his piss just didn't get to FedEx fast enough. He still failed the test, badly.

February 24, 2012  11:47 PM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Very well done, Marlins. I agree with everything you said. Ryan Braun just needs to **** and stop acting like the evidence him was proven false. It wasn't. The moron in charge of his piss just didn't get to FedEx fast enough. He still failed the test, badly.

**** =

Shut

The

Hell

Up

February 24, 2012  11:49 PM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Very well done, Marlins. I agree with everything you said. Ryan Braun just needs to **** and stop acting like the evidence him was proven false. It wasn't. The moron in charge of his piss just didn't get to FedEx fast enough. He still failed the test, badly.

This. All of this.

It's the OJ Simpson of steroid tests

February 25, 2012  12:20 AM ET

See, I'm of two minds on this. Well, really one mind. There is absolutely no evidence that Ryan Braun used performance-enhancing drugs. The fact that he failed one drug test with potentially fatal levels and tested clean a week later is completely ridiculous. Who knows how the mishandled sample impacted the testosterone levels...I'm not a science major, but there are reasons that these procedures are in place, and violating them should cause all results to be viewed skeptically.

HOWEVER, there is also no proof whatsoever that Ryan Braun has never used performance enhancing substances. That would be borderline impossible to prove, unless his piss was tested every hour on the hour for his entire life. For that matter, there's absolutely no proof that there is such a thing as a "clean player"; you simply can't make that kind of assertion.

Speaking as someone who things performance-enhancing substances should be permitted in pro sport and who feels the steroid furor is ridiculous, I have absolutely no problem with what Ryan Braun did or didn't do. In my opinion, the burden of proof should lie on the prosecutors (in this case the MLB), and they failed to successfully pin Braun. The fact that he's the first player we know of to beat the drug testers in front of an arbitrator speaks volumes to me, and honestly makes me proud that players are fighting back against this ridiculous system that has been known to cause false positives.

I don't think it's fair, in much fewer words, to assume Braun is guilty when he may or may not be. There is a lot of reasonable doubt in his case. Personally, I choose to not view him any differently than I did before, and I would say the exact same about a "clean" player like Ken Griffey or "dirty" player like Barry Bonds.

Sorry for posting a blog in your blog ;-)

February 25, 2012  12:24 AM ET

Eek, I've got so many typos in my post. I don't feel like pointing them all out...I'll let everyone else do that, lol.

February 25, 2012  12:27 AM ET

Oh, by the way, well written blog. A solid read. I just happen to disagree slightly with your conclusion.

February 25, 2012  12:41 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

"...this ridiculous system that has been known to cause false positives."

What false positives are you talking about?

February 25, 2012  12:44 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

There is absolutely no evidence that Ryan Braun used performance-enhancing drugs.

Except the drug test that he flunked.

Evidence later determined to be inadmissable is not "absolutely no evidence."

Comment #10 has been removed
February 25, 2012  12:51 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

What false positives are you talking about?

[url]http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=116746[/url ]

Urine tests trigger false positives in 5-10% of cases.

February 25, 2012  12:53 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

Except the drug test that he flunked. Evidence later determined to be inadmissable is not "absolutely no evidence."

The drug test he flunked has major questions surrounding it. If it was mishandled, you have to view the result with skepticism. Inadmissible evidence is no more evidence than me declaring that Barack Obama killed John Lennon.

February 25, 2012  12:54 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Evidence deemed inadmissable is no longer considered evidence.

Legally, maybe. It still exists though.

February 25, 2012  12:55 AM ET

In any event, I think it would be prudent until the arbitrator (Shyam Das) reveals why he lifted the drug submission. Until then, anything anyone says is complete guesswork.

February 25, 2012  12:55 AM ET
QUOTE(#12):

The drug test he flunked has major questions surrounding it. If it was mishandled, you have to view the result with skepticism. Inadmissible evidence is no more evidence than me declaring that Barack Obama killed John Lennon.

Wrong. Inadmissible evidence is just that - inadmissible. It doesn't mean we pretend it never happened. It just means he isn't held accountable.

February 25, 2012  12:56 AM ET
QUOTE(#14):

In any event, I think it would be prudent until the arbitrator (Shyam Das) reveals why he lifted the drug submission. Until then, anything anyone says is complete guesswork.

Prudent to wait, rather. Dang post-beer typing.

February 25, 2012  12:56 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Wrong. Inadmissible evidence is just that - inadmissible. It doesn't mean we pretend it never happened. It just means he isn't held accountable.

Of course it happened, but that doesn't mean anyone can conclusively claim why it is the way it is. We just don't know.

Comment #18 has been removed
February 25, 2012  12:57 AM ET

I read somewhere that Braun is considering legal action. If that happens, I'm sure all the minutiae will come out for the world to see.

 
February 25, 2012  12:57 AM ET
QUOTE(#17):

Of course it happened, but that doesn't mean anyone can conclusively claim why it is the way it is. We just don't know.

Then I guess Bonds never juiced.

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