Braun repeal denies science

The timeless saying is that numbers don’t lie.

So how is it the case that Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun’s extremely elevated levels of testosterone are being ignored, leading to the repeal of his 50-game suspension?

Braun was tested for performance-enhancing drugs Oct. 1, and the word of his positive test became public in December. The 2011 NL MVP’s test results showed a presence of synthetic testosterone; in addition, his overall testosterone levels were five times the amount needed to warrant a positive test.

Braun appealed the suspension, attempting to be the first in MLB history to overturn baseball’s ruling. Thursday brought a shock to the sporting world, as an arbitrator erased Braun’s suspension.

According to reports, the test was discounted because of a fault in the testing procedure. While protocol states that urine samples be sent to the lab immediately, the collector of the sample held onto it through the weekend, shipping it nearly 48 hours later.

For this reason, the test was nullified and Braun has been proven innocent. Or has he?

Seals on the sample show that it was not opened while at the home of the collector. Also, members of the World Anti-Doping Agency have said testosterone levels would not naturally elevate while sitting in a container.

Did the “Testosterone Fairy” come and add some juice during that time? I find that hard to believe. That being said, why is shipping and handling valued more than science?

Sure, it does not look good for baseball if one of its brightest stars misses nearly a third of the season, but neither does a repealed suspension on what seems like an obvious positive test. Heck, even the MLB knows that, issuing a statement saying it “vehemently disagreed” with the overturned ruling.

Braun has had many people on his side, though, including Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. After hearing the news Thursday, Rodgers tweeted: “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.”

It is understandable for Rodgers to stand up for a fellow Wisconsin star, but what kind of cheese have you been eating Aaron? Can you not read a lab test as well as you can read the Bears’ cover 2 defense?

Braun won over a list of others in his press conference at Brewers spring training Friday.

“Today is for everybody who has ever been wrongly accused,” Braun said. “I would bet my life this substance never entered my body.”

Braun is a well-liked figure and appears to be a genuine guy. However, it is fairly easy to look good in front of a microphone, with the exception of Mark McGwire’s “I’m not here to talk about the past,” and Drew Rosenhaus’s “Next question.”

It sounds good to say “I’ve never done steroids,” but we have heard this before. Still, the vast majority of sports analysts seem to believe Braun’s testimony.

ESPN’s PTI co-hosts Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon said they believed everything Braun said.

“I bought it all,” Wilbon said Friday. “I believe Ryan Bruan.”

Since when have people become so gullible? We probably will never know the full story, but how can you relinquish all doubt after hearing a defendant speak? What did they expect him to say, “I did it”?

The fact is, baseball fans want Braun to be innocent — they wish he was clean. But to look past this test would be a sign of ignorance.

Do you believe Braun because of who he is or based on the evidence? It seems many are leaning toward the first one. Would you feel the same way if this was Barry Bonds?

I think not.

Derek is a junior in Media. He can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @FeelDaPaign.