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Archive for December 12th, 2011

Did Ryan Braun drop the ball by testing positive for PEDs?

If Albert Pujols’ decision to head west was a time bomb, Ryan Braun’s positive test for performance enhancing drugs was an atomic blast. Already facing the loss of Prince Fielder to free agency, the Brewers must now go forward with Braun’s pending 50-game suspension hanging over the team. In many ways, this has been a nuclear winter in Milwaukee.

Braun has not disputed the report about his positive test, but he has vehemently questioned its validity, blunting telling USA Today “it’s BS”. Since being informed of the result last month, Braun has taken several steps to establish his innocence, including having another sample tested. Although the right fielder’s representative has expressed confidence regarding exoneration, the appeals process places a heavy burden of proof on the player, so even with compelling evidence, Braun is facing an uphill battle.

There are highly unusual circumstances surrounding this case which will support Ryan’s complete innocence and demonstrate there was absolutely no intentional violation of the program.” – spokesman for Ryan Braun, quoted by ESPN, December 10, 2011

If Braun wins his appeal, he’d become the first player to have a positive test overturned. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be able to restore his reputation. Judging by the initial reaction, which has already been highly presumptuous of his guilt, Braun will likely have to deal with some level of taint for the rest of his career, which makes the story being leaked even more punitive than the potential suspension. In fact, the presumption of guilt has been so strong, some have even argued that Braun shouldn’t even bother protesting his innocence.

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