2011 NL MVP Ryan Braun faces a 50 game suspension after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs last October, a result one Braun confidant describes as something “never seen in the history of (baseball’s) drug-prevention program.”. With that in mind, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Tom Haudricourt takes a break from welcoming Aramis Ramirez to town to consider Braun’s likely defense strategy.
The early-October test that was positive for Braun revealed such an abnormally, almost off-the-charts level of testosterone, it can be argued as being invalid or tainted. Don’t forget this earlier comment from a Braun source: “There has never been a result like this in the history of the program.” Obviously, that refers to the extraordinarily high testosterone level detected.
When apprised of the positive result a couple of weeks later, Braun requested an immediate retesting, which was normal. So, he could argue that so much testosterone could not have completely disappeared over that time frame, which of course can be debated.
Also, because there was no evidence of increased testosterone in Braun’s requested test, it will be argued that he couldn’t have injected anything into his body because traces would still be there. Thus, you could argue it had to be taken orally, and therefore a supplement might have been tainted without Braun’s knowledge. That argument has been made without success by players in the past, but it’s better than nothing.
So, expect Braun’s attorney David Cornwell to argue about the distinction between those two tests. Also, he will point out that Braun has been subject to many drug tests since being drafted in 2005 and never failed one. After so many all-star seasons in which he tested clean, why would Braun start cheating suddenly in October (a question, by the way, that has folks on management side also scratching their heads)?