What We Know About Ryan Braun and PEDs | Disciples of Uecker

Disciples of Uecker

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With Ryan Braun yet again receiving attention for his connection to a PED scandal, here’s what we know and what we do not know regarding Braun and performance-enhancing drugs:

What we should not know:

  1. In October 2011, Ryan Braun provided a urine sample which tested positive for elevated testosterone.
  2. Ryan Braun contested that positive test.
  3. One of the arguments he brought before the arbitrator was the handler of his urine sample broke the rules regarding chain of custody set out by arbitration between the MLB and MLBPA.
  4. The arbitrator ruled Braun’s challenge to the chain of custody was valid, and he dismissed the 50-game suspension.

What we know:

  1. The MLB’s policy regarding positive drug tests is one of strict liability. If a player tests positive, it is their fault unless there is a mitigating factor that casts doubt on the test results.
  2. A mitigating factor could be that the sample was incorrectly handled, thus creating doubt as to the legitimacy of the sample.
  3. There are pieces of paper found in Tony Bosch’s records with Ryan Braun’s name on it.
  4. Ryan Braun’s name is next to some numbers indicating that he owed Bosch money or had paid Bosch money.
  5. Braun has claimed to have consulted with Bosch during his appeal process and paid him for his time.

What we do not know:

  1. Whether or not Ryan Braun was prepared to challenge his positive test on other grounds.
  2. Whether or not Braun’s urine sample was tampered with.
  3. The depth of Braun and Bosch’s relationship.

What we can not possibly say for sure:

  1. Ryan Braun knowingly used PEDs.

Yesterday, ESPN published an article listing other players involved in the Biogenesis scandal. I am sure over the next few weeks we will continue to get more details regarding the documents recovered from the lab. The article also noted that Gio Gonzalez has been cleared of involvement with PED’s, which made me think it’s fair to ask how people would be reacting if this was the first time we had heard Ryan Braun’s name in the PED discussion. Considering the facts stated above, it seems safe to assume that if Ryan Braun’s right to privacy had not been violated, he would be given the same benefit of doubt afforded Gonzalez. Instead, he is being lumped into the same category as Alex Rodriguez, Pete Rose, Roger Clemens, etc.

A friend recently remarked to me that the saddest part about the past year and half regarding Braun and the PED issue is the likelihood that no matter how deserving he may be in the future, Braun will never be given another MVP or be elected to the Hall of Fame. Given the facts stated above, I believe my friend is right. While the facts could change, given what we know so far, how fair is to put Braun in the same company as men who have much more evidence proving their guilt?

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Tell us what do you think.

  1. Rob says: February 20, 2013

    Pete Rose was suspected of using PED’s? Since when?

  2. Mitch says: February 20, 2013

    What we also know about Ryan Braun is that he still plays LF for the Milwaukee Brewers. Until anyone says otherwise, I’m happy to know that he’ll be batting out of the 3-spot. These ESPN articles citing unnamed sources and pieces of paper are merely tabloids.

  3. Mike S. says: February 20, 2013

    Well, on the bright side… maybe 60 years from now a book will be written about how Braun was unfairly punished for the crimes of others and he will turn into some kind of folk hero that tells someone to build a baseball diamond in a cornfield or something.

  4. Joshua says: February 20, 2013

    When the news broke that Braun tested positive he offered a DNA sample to clear his name, MLB declined the offer.


    There are other articles, but this is the most complete one which is very puzzling.

  5. Beep says: February 20, 2013

    What we do not know:
    4. If Braun’s positive test and appeal was kept quiet as it was supposed to be, then what would be the perception Braun’s connection with Biogenesis that comes out 1 year later as Braun’s first connection to PED’s.

  6. Mike says: February 20, 2013

    Well, he’s obviously as guilty as Gio Gonzalez! Who was said to have DEFINITELY purchased PEDs only to have it retracted a few days later. In the world of the 24 hr news cycle, the thing that everyone has to realize is that the initial reports are usually the farthest from the truth because journalists are in a rush to break a story and do so without all of the facts. Restraint within the media is non-existant and sports writers really don’t give a crap if they ruin a guys reputation so long as they get their stories read.

  7. Cory says: February 20, 2013

    Why even put the word “knowingly” in there? You imply that there’s a chance he did them without his knowledge. You shouldn’t have that word there because it adds an argument to what’s supposed to be a clear, concise statement headed by: What we can not possibly know for sure?

    Braun used PEDs vs. Braun knowingly used PEDs

    It seems to imply that we know he used PEDs…

  8. Bob says: February 21, 2013

    With regards to MVP and HoF voting….

    There is a rather large portion of the media who feels that the rules of MLB, the collective bargaining process, and the justice system are indadequate. Furthermore, those same media members have appointed themselves judge, jury, and exocutioner regardless of fact or circumstance. This year’s HoF vote is only one example of that attitude. Several people bragged about sending in blank HoF ballots, to specifically hurt the chances of a “steroid user” to be inducted. It doesn’t matter if there were any proof, or even circumstantial evidence, in the case of a guy like Jeff Bagwell. He played in the 90s, therefore he needs to be punished.

  9. Philboyd says: February 21, 2013

    I like Ryan Braun and I am a Brewer fan. But let’s look at reality here at every level of every professional sport. These sports are enormously competitive where even superb athletes never make it to the top levels and there is also an incredible amount of money involved if you succeed. In that environment, you’d have to be a candidate for canonization to not do everything possible that you could get away with to gain any competitive advantage available. And none of these guys are saint-material. I think given those factors that if any professional athlete has NOT at some time used a PED he’s a rare exception.

  10. Corner says: March 10, 2013

    Here’s the tough part of the entire Braun saga: At the time he tested positive, he already had the huge contract. In addition, he was at the prime age for a baseball player. And finally, he showed no outward, physical signs whatsoever. (And remember, his test results were Extreme). I can understand someone trying to enhance their performance HOPING for the big contract – or an AGING players trying to keep his head above water – and could believe it if he showed some physical signs. But none of these three elements supports his use. If anything, he had everything to lose and nothing to gain at the time it happened. That’s the part that makes no sense, yet the Braun haters will gladly overlook these facts.

    Now follow full circle to today, and ask yourself: (1) If Braun really did obtain drugs from this individual Bosch, why would they even consider hiring Bosch to support his case? Wouldn’t you want to steer clear of him altogether? and (2) If there are only two documents, and they are recent – then considering it has been proven that they did hire Bosch, it would not be unreasonable to assume his name would show up once or twice on documents in Bosch’s possesstion. IMO the most important element here is the DATE of the documents. If they are in fact at or near the time of Braun’s case, there’s no way he would be buying peds during that timeframe – from Bosch or anyone else.

    So for me, until I see ANY actual element of proof beyond the initial test, I will continue to give Braun the benefit of the doubt.

    • Lance says: March 16, 2013

      The way it works: players given first test, which has a much higher possibility of false positives. That test is used to partition.

      Then a 2nd, more rigid (and very expensive) test is used, which rarely produces false positives.

      Braun failed both.

      When initially caught, Braun and his camp vehemently said they will prove he was innocent. Instead, they opted to take the technicality “out”.

      If they were so sure he was innocent, why did they allegedly hire Bosch?

      Of all the consultants available, they picked him? LOL

      The Biogenesis office was located across the street from his University of Miami. His former UOM roommate just suspended, after denying he knew Bosch. Suspended Padres’ Grandal is also a former UOM.

      State of Florida formally announced its investigation. Let’s see who will throw whom under the bus.

      • Will Wojcik says: March 16, 2013

        Great comment Lance. Two things:

        1. Some may think that Braun got off on a technicality, but that really isn’t the correct way to think about it. Braun simply found a legal argument that proved to be a winner. Braun won his appeal the only way a player can. Players are strictly liable for what is found in their bodies. If banned substances are found in your system, you are held responsible for it. Period. The only way to beat a positive test is to prove something was wrong about the process of the test, which is what Braun did.

        As I stated in the facts above, we do not know whether Braun had other legal arguments to make should his challenge to the chain of custody fail. All we know is that Braun’s legal team found a winning argument. A good lawyer will be prepared to challenge a legal problem from a variety of different angles. All it takes is one good argument to prevail though.

        2. My guess? They “hired” Bosch for legal reasons. If they consulted with him during the preparation of Braun’s legal defense, it makes it off limits to discovery should Braun’s relationship with Bosch ever be questioned. His lawyers can simply say that their discussions with Bosch regarding Braun are off limits because of attorney-client privilege. Pretty solid strategy if you ask me.

        they are able to protect whatever conversations they had by saying it had to do with the preperation of Braun’s legal defense. making it off-limits to discovery should Braun every be sued.


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