NL MVP Ryan Braun successfully appealed Thursday a 50-game suspension for a positive test for a performance-enhancing drug.
The Milwaukee Brewers star tested positive for synthetic testosterone during the playoffs, but immediately claimed that it was a false positive. After the news of the positive test became public in January, Braun told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that it was b.s. Braun won by a 2-1 vote on Thursday, but Major League Baseball stood by its initial positive test.
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, Rob Manfred, baseball's vice president of labor relations, said in a statement. While we have always respected that process, Major League Baseball vehemently disagrees with the decision rendered today by arbitrator Shyam Das.
Das was the deciding factor in the decision, which allows Braun to start off the season with a clean slate. The MLB's strong rebuke of the appeal is a bit surprising, but Braun believes that the decision confirms his long-maintained innocence.
I am very pleased and relieved by today's decision. It is the first step in restoring my good name and reputation, Braun said in a statement. We were able to get through this because I am innocent and the truth is on our side. We provided complete cooperation throughout, despite the highly unusual circumstances.
Braun had a career-best .332 batting average in 2011 while also hitting 33 home runs and 111 RBIs. He is the first baseball player to successfully appeal a drug-tested related suspension, according to the Journal Sentinel.