An MLB official told Tom Haudricourt of the Journal-Sentinel that there’s little to no chance that 2011 MVP Ryan Braun will win his appeal of a 50-game suspension for using a banned substance.
Braun’s appeal of that positive drug test and pending 50-game suspension will be heard later this month. Braun proclaimed his innocence after results of the drug test were leaked but has remained silent pending the conclusion of his appeal. Rumors have since surfaced that his extremely high testosterone level was the result of a prescription for herpes or some other sexually transmitted disease, but those reports are unconfirmed.
According to the official, there are only two ways for Braun to win his appeal: Either prove there was a lab error with the testing or say the Brewers signed off on the treatment, however both are very unlikely.
I was told to forget proving a lab error because the system is designed to prevent such an occurrence. Each player’s urine sample is divided into two samples. The first is tested and if it’s positive for any banned substance, the second sample is put through a more rigorous, comprehensive testing regimen to assure the result is valid.
The MLB official also told me that the Brewers did not sign off on whatever substance Braun took. So, it’s unlikely that excuse would be used during the appeal process.
Meanwhile, the Brewers are preparing for the likelihood that Braun will miss the first 50 games of the season.
Both MLB and the Players Association provide the players with a full list of banned substances and that list is reissued to every player whenever it is updated. Additionally, every player is told to ask the team or players association if they are unsure about any substance.
It seems that the first line of defense for these players who get caught is to refute the report and call the results bad, followed by pleading ignorance.
Fans and writers then fall into three camps: Denial (There’s no way this could be true), Indifference (Who cares, Babe Ruth drank beer), and Disappointment (Ban all these cheaters).