I know, I never in a million years would have thought I would be defending Ryan Braun. But I’m doing it.
Don’t get confused, if you are reading this, odds are that I hate Ryan Braun even more than you do. The guy just gets under my skin in a way that I never imagined possible. Hell, my hatred for Braun might be the sole reason why I actually like Jeff Karstens.
Finding out Braun tested positive for PED’s was one my highlights of 2011. It was awesome. But knowing what we now know, the decision to not suspend Braun for 50 games is correct.
Here’s the story on how the events unfolded after Braun completed his drug test:
The collector, identified by two people with knowledge of the case as Dino Laurenzi Jr., took the sample at about 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1, after Milwaukee opened the playoffs with a 4-1 win over Arizona, and left Miller Park about 30 minutes later with the urine in a triple-seal container manufactured by Capitol Vial. Braun said the collector’s son was with his father at the ballpark.
The two people familiar with the case, who spoke on condition of anonymity because Braun’s hearing was conducted in private, said the collector testified he took the sample home. The collector didn’t think the sample would be sent until Monday to the WADA-certified lab in Montreal, and believed it would be more secure at home than at a FedEx office during the weekend.
Braun, however, said at least five FedEx locations within 5 miles were open until 9 p.m. and there also was a 24-hour location. But Braun said the sample wasn’t left with FedEx until 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 3.
During the gap, the sample was at the collector’s home, and he placed it in a cool, dry area on a lower level, the people familiar with the case said. However, the collector didn’t document his storage procedures, one of those persons said.
That’s pretty amazing stuff right there. Braun’s sample wasn’t taken to FedEx for 44 hours. That’s a long time. I’m no scientist and I really don’t care or know if letting urine sitting on a desk for 2 days does anything to it or not. But all signs point that something just isn’t right about this.
I’m also not saying the test was tampered with either. But there are set rules for MLB’s drug testing policy and this circumstance does not follow those rules. If this were a trial in court it wouldn’t have even been heard in front of a judge because there are so many things wrong with this.
I also give Braun a little bit of benefit of the doubt. The guy has passed over 25 drug tests throughout his career and passed one immediately following the results of this particular test. I just don’t see where things add up.
We dislike Braun because, let’s face it, he’s freakin’ good. But just pretend that everything in this story stayed the same but the player’s name was Andrew McCutchen. I think you’d feel differently about it.