Thursday Afternoon Sports Update

Starting with the biggest news of the day, NL MVP Ryan Braun won his appeal. The Milwaukee Brewers outfielder tested positive for performance enhancement, maintaining innocence throughout the process.

“I am very pleased and relieved by today’s decision,” said Braun.

“It is the first step in restoring my good name and reputation. We were able to get through this because I am innocent and the truth is on our side.

“We provided complete cooperation throughout, despite the highly unusual circumstances. 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.”

The collector was supposed to take the sample to Kinko’s for shipping but thought it was closed because it was late on a Saturday. The collector then took the sample home and kept it in a cool place and possibly refrigerated it. Policy states that the sample is supposed to get to FedEx as soon as possible.

Sources have confirmed synthetic testosterone in his system. MLB is livid and is considering options.

No reasoning was given for Thursday’s decision.

“Today the arbitration panel announced its decision, by a 2-1 vote, to sustain Ryan Braun’s grievance challenging his 50-game suspension by the commissioner’s office,” a statement from the players’ association said.

MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred and union head Michael Weiner are part of the arbitration panel, and management and the union almost always split their votes, leaving Das, the independent panel member, to make the decision.

Manfred said management disagreed with the decision by Das. It is the first time a drug suspension has been overturned in a grievance, baseball officials said.

“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,” Manfred said.

“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 hit .312 with 33 homers and 111 RBIs last year and led Milwaukee to the NL championship series.

Braun already was signed through 2015 when the Brewers gave him a new deal running through 2020 that added $105 million and guaranteed him a total of $145.5 million over a decade.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers tweeted in Braun’s defense: “MLB and cable sports tried to sully the reputation of an innocent man. Picked the wrong guy to mess with. Truth will set u free #exonerated.”

Courtesy of espn.com