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Striking Out?

by MATT GORDON Staff Writer

Ryan Braun, leftfielder for the Millwaukee Brewers, tested positive for performance enhancing drugs last October and received a 50 game suspension soon after. After appealing his suspension, Braun found out on Thursday, February 23, that his appeal had won and provided enough evidence to prove his case. During last year’s playoffs, Braun had to provide a urine sample for testing and the alert was triggered from an increased level of testosterone in his body. A more comprehensive test was then conducted to confirm that the testosterone was synthetic and not produced from his body. In Braun’s appeal, he did not argue against the evidence or blame tampering with the results, but instead argued that protocol was not followed by the collector. According to several sources, the collector was supposed to take the sample to a FedEx office right after the testing. Instead of following this procedure, the collector took the sample home and kept it in a cool place in his basement, which occurred with other tests before with no issue. The collector claims that it was late on a Saturday and he thought the office would not be open, so he took it home instead and would ship it the next Monday when he knew an office would be open. According to Major League Baseball procedures, a urine sample must be shipped out as soon as possible for testing and not be taken anywhere by the collector, except for a designated shipping office. Many sources, such as the Montreal Olympic doping lab who tested the sample, have stated that synthetic testosterone would not show up and a sample would not usually be affected by where and for how long a sample has been stored. After hearing of his successful appeal, Braun stated, “I am very pleased and relieved by today’s decision. 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.” This is the first time in MLB history that a player has successfully appealed a suspension for performance enhancing drugs or other drug charges.

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