This is a game changer.
Never in the history of Major League Baseball has a player appealed a ruling based on banned substances, and won the appeal. Never. Ryan Braun, the reigning NL MVP, failed a drug test just after last season before the MVP announcement was made. Braun never brought it up, and accepted the award, obviously confident that he was on the straight and narrow in terms of athletic purity.
The rabid media caught wind of the failed test, and immediately began to publish that Ryan Braun tested positive for PEDs. This was false. Braun countered by stating that he failed the test due to a prescription for an undisclosed medical issue, and was confident that after presenting his case, the impending suspension would never become an issue. And it didn’t.
On Thursday, MLB announced that Ryan Braun was cleared of the chargers and that he wouldn’t be suspended for a single game in the 2012 season. Braun is free to report to Brewers camp, and get started in his first season without slugging teammate Prince Fielder.
Here’s the issue with MLB drug testing. In wanting to clean up the steroid mess, several things have fallen into the PED category. One could suppose that cocaine, a banned substance in the MLB, could qualify as performance enhancing–picking up what I’m laying down? The media hears “failed drug test,” or “tested positive,” and they immediately jump to the conclusion of steroids. HGH. The cheating stuff.
Clearly, Ryan Braun has a health issue that he doesn’t want to disclose–why would he? Whose business is it other than his, and the doctor who is treating him? And one can only offer him the benefit of the doubt, especially considering he set a precedent with his case.