Ryan Braun’s 50-game suspension overturned

Ryan Braun FedEx
Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun is a very lucky man. Last year he won the National League’s MVP award even though Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers had a better season. Last December, Major League Baseball announced Braun would be facing a 50-game suspension for testing positive for synthetic testosterone. Braun announced he was going to dispute the decision, but considering the fact that no baseball player has ever prevailed when challenging a failed drug test, his chances at getting the drug test thrown out seemed highly unlikely.

It was announced yesterday that Braun’s failed drug test was overturned by a three-person arbitration panel. The panel voted 2-1 to throw out the failed drug test, not because it was in error, but because of a chain-of-custody technicality.

Rules state that when a urine sample is collected, the collector is to take it immediately to FedEx for shipment to the MLB testing lab in Montreal. The collector, believing that FedEx was already closed, took the sample home and stored it in his refrigerator for two days. It was then shipped to the lab where it tested positive.

Even through the seal on the sample bottle was intact, two of the three arbitrators decided that because the sample wasn’t taken directly to FedEx as the rules require, the test was invalid.

Instead of sitting out the first fifty games of the season, Braun will be allowed to start the season with the rest of his teammates. Not because he’s innocent of using a performance enhancing drug, but because of a technicality.

12 thoughts on “Ryan Braun’s 50-game suspension overturned”

  1. Rick, I’d hate to be denied a job because of a failed urine drug test. I think it was poor judgement on part of the carrier to take a sample home and store it in his refrig. and who knows if they could tamper with the seal and replace it with a new one. Don’t you remember the horrible piss tests we were subject to in the Air Force… a NCO had to “eyeball” you peeing in the cup. I’m glad there are strict rules for this sort of thing and the MLB needs to review their protocols to ensure this doesn’t happen again!

    1. @Jose Rodriguez: Braun wouldn’t have lost his job, just been suspended from it for a third of the season. He’d be back before the All-Star break for crying out loud.

  2. Rick, I’d hate to be denied a job because of a failed urine drug test. I think it was poor judgement on part of the carrier to take a sample home and store it in his refrig. and who knows if they could tamper with the seal and replace it with a new one. Don’t you remember the horrible piss tests we were subject to in the Air Force… a NCO had to “eyeball” you peeing in the cup. I’m glad there are strict rules for this sort of thing and the MLB needs to review their protocols to ensure this doesn’t happen again!

    1. @Jose Rodriguez: Braun wouldn’t have lost his job, just been suspended from it for a third of the season. He’d be back before the All-Star break for crying out loud.

  3. @Ryan: I don’t follow baseball and I don’t really know who Ryan Braun is or care. My point is that there are rules for drug testing that should be followed very carefully to eliminate the appearance of impropriety or reproach. I think it’s insane that someone would think that placing a “high profile” urine sample in their refrig at home is acceptable. Obviously, this guy didn’t attend the DeVry college for CSI.

    @Rick: miss you bro, you always keep us rolling in laughter in the back of bomber 6 on the rock.

    1. @Jose Rodriguez: Miss you too Jose!

      As far as the Ryan Braun thing goes, I really don’t think the way the sample was handled was any less secure than if it had gone to FedEx/Kinkos. If he, the collector, had taken it to FedEx/Kinkos before it closed, the package would have just sat there over the weekend waiting to be shipped. I have to think the collector’s home is more secure then a Kinkos.

      The seal wasn’t broken. The sample container had not been tampered with in any way. The urine had a 20:1 testosterone ratio. The normal amount is 1:1 or maybe 1:2. It takes a 4:1 to trigger a positive.

      1. @Rick R: There wasn’t just ONE seal even, there were THREE separate seals that were still intact. Braun says the “truth” was on his side. He and his attorney didn’t even question the validity of the test, it was all a matter of the procedure. MLB stands by the results and Braun doesn’t argue against them, he just got away with it because of a technicality!

  4. @Ryan: I don’t follow baseball and I don’t really know who Ryan Braun is or care. My point is that there are rules for drug testing that should be followed very carefully to eliminate the appearance of impropriety or reproach. I think it’s insane that someone would think that placing a “high profile” urine sample in their refrig at home is acceptable. Obviously, this guy didn’t attend the DeVry college for CSI.

    @Rick: miss you bro, you always keep us rolling in laughter in the back of bomber 6 on the rock.

    1. @Jose Rodriguez: Miss you too Jose!

      As far as the Ryan Braun thing goes, I really don’t think the way the sample was handled was any less secure than if it had gone to FedEx/Kinkos. If he, the collector, had taken it to FedEx/Kinkos before it closed, the package would have just sat there over the weekend waiting to be shipped. I have to think the collector’s home is more secure then a Kinkos.

      The seal wasn’t broken. The sample container had not been tampered with in any way. The urine had a 20:1 testosterone ratio. The normal amount is 1:1 or maybe 1:2. It takes a 4:1 to trigger a positive.

      1. @Rick R: There wasn’t just ONE seal even, there were THREE separate seals that were still intact. Braun says the “truth” was on his side. He and his attorney didn’t even question the validity of the test, it was all a matter of the procedure. MLB stands by the results and Braun doesn’t argue against them, he just got away with it because of a technicality!

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