Braun wins appeal of suspensionWisconsin Sports
-- Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun became the first major-league player to have a positive drug test overturned on Thursday.
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun became the first major-league player to have a positive drug test overturned on Thursday.
The reigning National League MVP was facing a 50-game suspension for a positive test that took place in early October. His hearing was held in front of a three-member special panel that first convened last month in New York.
The MLBPA released the following statement on Thursday:
"Today the Arbitration Panel announced its decision, by a 2-1 vote, to sustain Ryan Braun's grievance challenging his 50-game suspension by the Commissioner's Office.
"Under the Joint Drug Agreement, a player's successful challenge to a suspension normally would not have been made public. The parties have agreed, given the particulars of this case, that an announcement is appropriate."
Major League Baseball responded with a statement of its own:
"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."
ESPN broke the news on Braun's failed test in December. The report stated that Braun tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone in a urine sample taken during the playoffs. Braun quickly called for another test, but the results were also negative.
In 150 games last season, Braun batted .332 with 33 home runs, 111 RBI and 33 stolen bases. He was named an All-Star Game starter for the fourth straight season in 2011, but did not play in the contest due to a leg injury.
Braun, who signed a huge extension through 2020 in April, released a statement through MLB Network Radio on Thursday.
"I am very pleased and relieved by today's decision," Braun said.
"It is the first step in restoring my good name and reputation. We were able to get through this because I am innocent and the truth is on our side."