Ryan Braun managed to avoid suspension on a technicality. Officially, as of now, before anything else comes to progress on the legal front, his name is clean, but there are many question marks regarding his positive sample which had its repercussion get overturned in the appeal.
The 28 year old NL MVP hit 33 home runs and 111 RBIs for the Milwaukee Brewers last season. He got a major extension from the franchise, guaranteeing him nearly $150 million over the course of the decade until 2020. Testing positive for elevated testosterone seemed to be more than just an asterisk on his flourishing career.
He was hit with a 50 game suspension, and while Braun and his legal team didn’t not argue about the test being faulty or with the evidence presented in it. He just claimed that he was clean, took another test after recieving the results, which produced normal results, and claimed that the process wasn’t as it should be, and the protocol wasn’t followed.
MLB officials are fuming, as all the evidence point to the fact that Braun did in fact use illegal substances, with or without intent. They’re just not used to having their decisions overturned, with the appeal going this way being a first time that a drug suspension was overturned by grievance.
For Braun, who luckily for him isn’t playing in a place that focuses too much of national media attention, despite being the MVP, it looks like it’s a safe place for now. He’s the victor in a case against the league, and it didn’t seem like whether he’ll win the case or not did matter that much to the media. Alex Rodriguez II it was not.
But for those who want to believe his complete innocence, no matter what the actual law says, and for those looking for a symbol of cleanliness in Baseabll, there was no victory with this decision. MLB executives don’t go hard enough against offenders, although this is only the third time in 2011 of a player testing positive for PED under the Major League testing program – Manny Ramirez who retired instead of serving a ban and upon his return got his sentence shortened, and Eliezer Alfonzo of the Rockies.
Ignoring the disease that has plagued baseball for so many years by allowing everything achieved during that period to remain intact and letting hall of fame voters handle the punishment hasn’t been good with the sport. Too many clean men are tainted by others, while it remains profitable and ‘worth it’ to take PEDs. You may get caught, but the chances of it actually hurting your career aren’t that great.