Milwaukee Brewers History: Ryan Braun Appeals PED Test Successfully
No one had managed to successfully appeal a PED test in Major League Baseball. That is, until this day in 2012, when Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun was able to have his suspension thrown out.
PED testing in Major League Baseball has been amongst the best in the world for quite some time. While they may not catch everyone trying to cheat the system, baseball appears to have a fairly high success rate. With that testing, the stiff penalties, and the condemnation of other players denouncing PED usage, the risks far outweigh the rewards at this point.
And yet, there are still those players who look to cheat, trying to find an advantage anywhere they can. These players run the gamut from those fringe Major League bench players to superstars. When Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun was caught for PED usage, it was another sign that the system was working, and that anyone could be caught.
He was quite vocal in his innocence, as virtually every other player had been previously when caught. However, unlike the others, Braun did not face his suspension quietly. Instead of accepting the penalty, he attacked the person who collected the specimen, and appealed his case. Facing a three person arbitration panel, on this day in 2012, Braun became the first person to actually win his appeal.
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In the ruling, it was noted the Braun’s sample had a level of testosterone that was so high as to be virtually impossible. Meanwhile, the sample had been stored and handled incorrectly prior to testing, giving Braun’s claims additional credibility. Braun had his vindication, and his 50 game suspension was no more.
That was the case until the following year. Braun’s name came up in the Biogenesis scandal, putting his previous positive test back in the spotlight. On July 23, after an investigation by the MLB, Braun was suspended for the final 65 games of the year, the first suspension in that scandal.
This time, he admitted his guilt, causing Braun to become a pariah amongst other players. Matt Kemp lobbied that the 2011 MVP award should be retroactively given to him, and Max Scherzer wanted Braun’s contract voided. Meanwhile, in an attempt to get back in the good graces of the fans, Braun publicly apologized to Dino Laurenzi, the person who took that urine sample that led to his first suspension.
Time has a way of healing those wounds. He is back as a fan favorite in Milwaukee, one of the few stars left on that team. Yet, we will always wonder somewhere in the back of our minds as to whether or not his performance is legitimate.
Ryan Braun beat the system once, becoming the first player to win his appeal of a PED suspension. However, as the Milwaukee Brewers star learned, that does not mean that he would never be caught.