This feels familiar, doesn’t it?
For the second straight winter, Ryan Braun’s name is being mentioned in a PED scandal — this time with the Biogenesis lab in Miami that had everyone talking about Alex Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera and Gio Gonzalez last week.
The Miami New Times didn’t mention Braun’s name in their initial report because, well, there’s no actual evidence of Braun getting PEDs from the lab. But hey, don’t let that stop you from running the story about nothing, Yahoo!:
Three of the Biogenesis clinic records obtained by Yahoo! Sports show Braun’s name. Unlike the players named by the Miami New Times in its report that blew open the Biogenesis case, Braun’s name is not listed next to any specific PEDs.
At least two other documents in the trove given to the New Times by a former Biogenesis employee mention Braun. In one, his name is on a line, with “RB 20-30K” on the next. Bosch listed the amount of money owed by other players in similar notation, though the numbers were usually lower.
Later in the document are multiple mentions of Chris Lyons, one of Braun’s attorneys during the 2011-12 offseason when he fought a positive drug test. While Braun never contested the findings of the test, which found elevated testosterone levels in his urine, a 50-game suspension was overturned after chain-of-custody issues arose from the test-taker keeping the specimen in his basement over the weekend instead of immediately shipping it to a testing lab. Braun denied use of testosterone publicly.
First, an aside — it’s lovely that people are still using the “he never contested the results of the test” line. As we’ve already spilled too much digital ink explaining, Braun’s defense team used the line of argument most likely to get the decision overturned. Why waste time making an argument that’s extremely difficult when there’s an easier argument to be made?
Second, you could probably stop reading the Yahoo! article at the “not listed to any PEDs” line. There’s nothing more than an insinuation here. The lab was claiming he owed money, but unlike anyone else on the list, the documents didn’t have a drug listed next to his name.
Oh yeah, it turns out there’s also a plausible explanation for being mentioned:
“During the course of preparing for my successful appeal last year, my attorneys, who were previously familiar with Tony Bosch, used him as a consultant. More specifically, he answered questions about T/E ratio and possibilities of tampering with samples.
“There was a dispute over compensation for Bosch’s work, which is why my lawyer and I are listed under ‘moneys owed’ and not on any other list.
“I have nothing to hide and have never had any other relationship with Bosch.
“I will fully cooperate with any inquiry into this matter.”
It’s a response that would seem to make sense, and one that also explains why Lyons’ name was included in the documents. Whether or not you actually believe it probably depends on whether or not you believed Braun last year.
While the statement addresses questions on this case, it probably won’t be the last we hear from this story. At the very least, Braun is going to have to go into image-repair mode again. If you have any doubts on that, just do a Twitter search for his name.