ESPN.com is reporting that National League MVP Ryan Braun has won the appeal of his 50-game suspension due to a 2-1 vote by a panel of arbitrators. The announcement reportedly came out Thursday afternoon by Major League Baseball.
If the reports are true, Braun is the first player in history to successfully appeal a suspension due to a failed drug test.
Although the reasons for the failed test are unknown, Braun has stated that it was due to ‘unique circumstances,’ and that he has never taken any juice.
Braun won the MVP last season with the Milwaukee Brewers, batting .332/33/111 and 33 stolen bases. With the loss of Prince Fielder to the Detroit Tigers, losing Braun for 50 games as well would have been catastrophic for the Brewers lineup.
Regardless of this turnout, it sets a dangerous precedent. We need to remember that one of these arbitration judges voted for suspension, which means there must have been evidence supporting just reasons for the failed drug test. On the other hand, there isn’t a ‘need’ to have a unanimous vote. Some won’t have confidence in this decision to let Braun play, but everyone will have to have faith that the verdict is a clean one.
In reality, I haven’t seen Braun’s head literally grow in size (ie. Barry Bonds) or his biceps swell to the size of a Thanksgiving turkey (ie. Jose Canseco).
Ryan Braun can officially declare is innocence in confidence. It still doesn’t mean that there might be some slight implications for the rest of his career. For now, Braun is clean; and that’s great for baseball.
Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS