Having become the first baseball player anyone can remember to successfully appeal a positive drug test, reigning National League Most Valuable Player Ryan Braun, the Jewish Milwaukee Brewers outfielder, held a press conference, and Ron Kaplan reported on it. Braun insisted, as he has before, that no illegal substance “entered [his] body at any point.” (He also denied having a disease that may have tripped the test, which is a rumor I’ve heard and read. Google a bit if you want.)
The slight strangeness here, of course, is that he got off on a technical violation. Emily Bazelon has a thoughtful essay about what this says about the American commitment to (critics would say fetishization of) procedural safeguards. Essentially, the lab screwed up, holding his urine for 48 hours when it was supposed to have sent it immediately. So we don’t know that he actually didn’t, knowingly or unknowingly, take illegal substances; and we also don’t know that he did. We may never know. What we do know is that he’ll face no suspension. All the better: let’s get him back on the field and judge him by his performance there and by his next test, which you can be sure will be executed properly.
Or you could take your cues from Braun’s buddy, who probably has one more Super Bowl MVP than you do:
Braun Wins Appeal on Positive Drug Test and Avoid Suspension [NYT]
Ryan Braun’s Press Conference: The ‘Nightmare’ Is Over [Kaplan’s Korner]
Pee Brain [Slate]