Ryan Braun, you’re doing it to us again. Leaving us wondering. Leaving us asking questions. Leaving us in that zone of uncertainty that we’d hoped we had left behind, when baseball and its players union finally stopped looking the other way on steroids.
Drug testing was supposed to clean up the game, but it was also supposed to give us clarity. It was supposed to give us trust that we could believe what we were watching. Some players would fail tests, but they would be suspended and we would know who they were.
Now we’re back to where we were before testing began. We’re back with suspicions and reports.
You’re only there because you want to be, Danny.
If you think we’re in a land of pre-testing uncertainty — which Knobler specifically says later in his column — then the current drug testing program is utterly meaningless. He should just advocate for it being scrapped, because it’s giving him no comfort whatsoever. For my part, I read just about everything Danny Knobler writes, and I’ve never once seen him claim that the current drug testing program is pointless and should be abandoned.
To the contrary. Last year, after Braun’s appeal, Knobler was one of the few voices who accepted the results and defended Braun and the process. He believed in it then and said that Braun was due the benefit of the doubt because of the system. Why is he not owed the benefit of the doubt now? Why is the system of no comfort to Knobler today when it was in late February 2012?
Since that decision, the loophole through which Braun and his lawyers jumped has been closed and MLB and MLBPA have increased the stringency of the drug testing program. Indeed, even the USADA and WADA are now applauding it as U.S. team sports’ most rigorous drug testing regime. On the other hand, we’re have one report of currently uncertain weight and import involving a few players, several of which aren’t tied to PEDs.
Maybe that report turns into something big. Maybe it turns into nothing. But that’s what we have. We do not have the end of all certainty regarding baseball and drugs. We are not cast adrift on a sea of doubt like Knobler will have you believe. Or, as of a year ago, as he even believed.