Huge news: As first reported by Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Ryan Braun has won the appeal of his 50-game suspension for taking a banned substance. The MLBPA has confirmed. Braun is the first player to successfully appeal a drug suspension.
Immediately after this news broke, Major League Baseball released a statement, printed in full below, saying that while they “vehemently disagree” with the arbitrator’s decision, it will respect the process.
To which I say: How freaking noble of you to respect the process, Major League Baseball. And to all of the writers who, in the wake of the leak of Braun’s positive test, demanded that he either give up his MVP award or have it put up to a re-vote, I suppose you should probably revisit that view in light of the appeal. You know, now that the process has actually run its course and there is a determination you can assess rather than an unauthorized leak to which you can react.
As for Braun and the Brewers: nothing but good news here. From staring a 50-game suspension in the face to reporting to camp tomorrow as if nothing had happened. Which, if the integrity of the testing and the appeal process had been respected like it had been in all other cases, would have been totally unremarkable.
Here’s Major League Baseball’s statement:
“Major League Baseball considers the obligations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program essential to the integrity of our game, our Clubs and all of the players who take the field. It has always been Major League Baseball’s position that no matter who tests positive, we will exhaust all avenues in pursuit of the appropriate discipline. We have been true to that position in every instance, because baseball fans deserve nothing less.
“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.”
We have more coverage of the Braun decision:
See why Braun won his appeal. Hint: it involves a urine sample, a closed Kinko’s and some guy’s refrigerator; and
For anyone who thinks Braun got off on a technicality, well, they have another thing coming.