Thursday, February 23, 2012

"Vehemently disagree"

We will probably never know the whole story about Ryan Braun's positive test but here are some things we do know:

  • Ryan Braun has passed twenty-five drug tests as a professional baseball player
  • Ryan Braun's sample tested positive for PEDs with synthetic testosterone in his system
  • After taking a second test, Braun tested negative for PEDs
  • Braun's urine did not get shipped directly to a testing facility
  • Braun's urine was sealed and not tampered with when it did arrive in a testing facility
  • Testing can reveal foreign substances, such as a foreign element that would be found in a fridge, and degradation in a urine sample. Braun's sample did not show these.
  • The sample collector is supposed to get the sample to FedEx/Kinko's as soon as possible
This is just the tip of the iceberg and more information and statements will definitely come out from both sides, but here's my two cents. The synthetic testosterone doesn't get into urine by sitting in a fridge and Braun to my knowledge has never addressed the cause of the testosterone. It's naive to think that someone capable of putting synthetic testosterone into his system wouldn't be able to mask it, especially after failing a test. Additionally, I'd like to see the exact wording of the MLB code regarding shipping samples. If it is "as soon as possible" wouldn't 9am Monday morning be as soon as possible if the test was taken after the FedEx store closed on a Saturday? Or did the collector get the closing time of the FedEx wrong and have a chance to get it there that day but just didn't realize it? What happens if say, he gets stuck in traffic and the store closes? Is that grounds for a reversal?

Braun's statement said that the "truth" is on his side. I disagree. I think the one independent arbiter on the panel and Brewer's fans are on his side, but that might be about it. Here's what I think happened: Braun fucked up with his masking agent, got it fixed for the second test, and concocted one hell of a legal defense. A protocol error might reverse Braun's suspension, but that won't stop him from being found guilty in the court of public opinion.

1 comment:

  1. This reversal seems a lot like the OJ verdict. OJ Simpson killed those two people. The LAPD tampered with evidence, though, so OJ should have been let off. Everyone knows OJ was guilty of the crime, but because law enforcement tried to cheat the system, he should not have been found guilty. That's how our justice system works.

    In Braun's case, the "law enforcement cheating the system" appears to be less grievous than what occurred in the OJ trial. The system itself also seems to be incredibly flawed. This is sort of like the Tuck Rule call: the call was correct, but the rule was stupid. A person not realizing that FedEx was open seems like a weird reason for there to be a breakdown in the system. But as the system stands, there were errors. Braun should have been let off the hook because of a combination of OJ Simpson and the Tuck Rule. But yeah he was totally guilty.