Braun Exonerated, Wins Drug Suspension Appeal


by Andrew Coughlin

To many Brewers' fans delight Ryan Braun has won his appeal. Braun was facing a 50 game suspension for an alleged positive drug test he took back in October of 2011 right before the playoffs began.

He has been fighting the ruling ever since and even got famed attorney David Cronwell to lead his defense.

The burdon of proof was on Cornwell and his team. They presented their arguments to an arbitration panel of three back in mid-January consisting of MLB vice president of labor relations Rob Manfred, MLB Players Association executive Michael Weiner and independent arbtrator Shyam Das.

Its no surprise that the decision would end up 2-1; Weiner voting for Braun, Manfred voting against him leaving the deciding vote up to Das.

Well, it worked and Braun and the Brewers couldn't be more pleased with the results.

ESPN is reporting that the decision wasn't based on the validity of the test itself, but rather on a 'technicality' in the procedure in which the test was taken and gathered.

Cornwell and his team argued a 'chain of custody/collection procedure. Apparently the collector of the urine sample did not send Braun's test sample out immediately to FedEx/Kinkos, which is standard protocol, because he thought it was closed. He instead brought the sample back home and refrigerated it overnight and sent it out the next day.

Shyam Das must have found that to be convincing enough and ruled in Braun's Favor.

Braun is the first major-league player to have is positive drug test overturned. Now the cloud of a suspension will not be hanging over him and the Brewers' organization for the rest of spring training and beyond.

I will have more on this story tomorrow, but feel free to share your comments; I'd be glad to hear what you all think about this historical decision.


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