National League MVP Ryan Braun’s 50-game suspension was overturned today by baseball arbitrator Shyam Das, the first time a baseball player successfully challenged the MLB Suspension For Banned Substances.
The decision was announced today by the Major League Baseball Players Association, just a day before Braun was due to report for spring training.
Braun originally tested positive for elevated testosterone levels that one official said was “off the charts” last October. But several reports now indicate that the decision was not based on those results.
Instead, Braun won the appeal on a technicality because his urine samples were a reported “two days late getting to the lab”, thus breaking the chain of custody guidelines.
I’m shocked that knowledgeable and respected people such as Jon Heyman as well as others immediately posted, “He’s Inoocent”.
This wasn’t a trial – there is no innocent or guilty. It was two sides disagreeing and one person hearing both sides and making the tie breaking decision. 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.
Two of Ryan Braun’s urine samples still tested positive for high testosterone levels, of that there is no doubt.
But the MLBPA who defended Braun tried to say that MLB could have planted the testosterone in Braun’s urine sample during the delay in getting to the lab, thus tainting them. (Because that’s what MLB does to their players.)
“I am very pleased and relieved by today’s decision,” Braun said in a statement.
I bet you are, Ryan.
MLB Exec. VP Rob 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.”
They vehemently disagree, but they are the idiots that agreed to an arbitration process that lets a third party decide the punishment for a baseball player who violated “their policy. So MLB can vehemnetly disagree all they like.
The bottom line is that Braun will not be suspended, which is not to say he’s innocent, only that the arbitrator thought the urine samples tested positive because both times MLB tainted them with massive amounts of testosterone somehow.
So what do you believe?