Ryan Braun, the reigning National League most valuable player and the Milwaukee Brewer's left fielder, will have a hearing before a three-person panel in January regarding his positive drug test for a banned substance in October. His legal team has begun preparing his appeal as the penalty for first time offenders is a 50-game suspension without pay, which Braun would serve at the beginning of next season.

Following a urine test during the first round of the playoffs against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Braun did not test positive for a performance-enhancing drug or steroid, his attorney, David Cornwell, told USA Today. However, Braun had an elevated ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone and showed synthetic testosterone, according to two people familiar with the test results.

Creative Artists Agency, which represents Braun, told The Boston Herald the positive test involved highly unusual circumstances that would demonstrate there was no intentional violation.

According to Major League Baseball's drug policy, a player cannot simply deny that he intentionally used a banned substance, but that he must provide objective evidence in support of his denial.

According the The New York Times, Braun's defense team is systematically gathering evidence of everything he ingested in the days leading up to the drug test. The team is also cataloging the contents of his locker and his medicine cabinet at home.

MLB has not acknowledged the positive test because it was supposed to be confidential while in appeal.

Because Ryan doesn't know what caused the positive result, we're still doing our analysis, a person with knowledge of the tests and appeal told The New York Times. The positive test did not show he ingested any steroid or performance-enhancing drug, that person added.

Braun has not been suspended yet, leaving a possibility that he could report to spring training not knowing his fate. The panel that will hear Cornwell's case for Braun will consist of a MLB representative, a players' union representative and an independent arbitrator chosen by the two sides. The arbitrator will rule 30 to 45 days later.