“Today is for everybody who has ever been wrongly accused,” he said Friday at a news conference at the Brewers' training facility in Maryvale, Ariz.
“The simple truth is that I'm innocent,” the outfielder said, with his teammates sitting in the stands in uniform behind him. “The truth is always relevant and the truth prevailed.”
Braun tested positive in October for elevated testosterone, and ESPN's “Outside The Lines” revealed the positive test in December. His case marks the first time a baseball player has successfully challenged a drug-related penalty in a grievance.
Compared to most, I care very little about PEDs. Sure, I'd prefer the game to be squeaky clean, but it's just not very realistic and the whole steroid issue is not as clear cut as people want to make it out to be. High-level athletes use LEGAL supplements that enhance their performance all the time. Otherwise, why would they use them? So forgive me for not freaking out that professional athletes with fame and fortune on the line put more than water and protein powder in their bodies.
But I do care about fairness and consistency. Contrary to what Braun has said, I feel like he's received much better treatment from the media than those before him who have been tangled up in the steroid mess. Reporters like Jon Heyman tell us it's unfair to think of Braun as anything but 100% clean because the test results weren't supposed to be leaked and some guy didn't get his sample to Fedex fast enough? Sorry, but I'm not willing to draw that conclusion just yet. The list of players who tested positive in 2003 was not intended to be made public, but that doesn't change whether or not they're guilty.
I don't know whether Braun did something that warranted a 50-game suspension or not. While Braun was pretty impressive in his press conference today, I'm not ready to close the door on this one.
The Big Lead shares my skepticism:
As ESPN noted, “Braun didn’t argue evidence of tampering and didn’t dispute the science, but argued protocol had not been followed.” Which is kind of like getting arrested for something but getting off on a technicality, like the cops not reading you your miranda rights.
That, of course, makes Ryan Braun’s statement all the more laughable:
I have been an open book, willing to share details from every aspect of my life as part of this investigation, because I have nothing to hide. I have passed over 25 drug tests in my career, including at least three in the past year.
Question: Ryan, if you have nothing to hide, what caused your testosterone to spike so high? Why was synthetic testosterone in your system?