After the word was leaked that Ryan Braun had tested positive for a substance banned in the Collective Bargaining Agreement’s drug policy, a 50-game suspension seemed all but imminent. However, Braun appealed the positive test and attended a hearing before a three-man arbitration panel in New York on January 19th and 20th. Attorney David Cornwell presented Braun’s case against the test result and suspension.
Today it was announced by the MLB and the players’ union that Ryan Braun has indeed won his appeal, thereby averting the 50-game suspension. The decision came just one day before Braun is expected to arrive at the Brewers’ spring training camp in Arizona.
Someone familiar with the decision said the appeal went Braun’s way not so much on contesting the result of the test, but the actual testing process itself. One Arbitrator, Shyam Das, decided to rule in favor of a technicality, making it a 2-1 decision in favor of Ryan Braun.
MLB Officials Upset at Appeal Results
MLB officials are not pleased with how this process played out and announced that they will be making a statement in support of the drug testing process – stating that they “vehemently disagree” with the arbitrator’s decision.
The Vice President of the MLB labor relations, Rob Manfred, said in a statement:
“Major League Baseball considers the obligations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program essential to the integrity of our game, our Clubs and all of the players who take the field. It has always been Major League Baseball’s position that no matter who tests positive, we will exhaust all avenues in pursuit of the appropriate discipline. We have been true to that position in every instance, because baseball fans deserve nothing less.
“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. While we have always respected that process, Major League Baseball vehemently disagrees with the decision rendered today by arbitrator Shyam Das.”
Braun is believed to be the first player to successfully appeal a drug suspension under Major League Baseball’s policy.
Braun is expected to address the ruling when he reports Friday.