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Ryan Braun acts like he just hits a walk-off home run when he addresses the overturning of his 50-game suspension for drug use in 2012.
This is what Ryan Braun said in February of 2012, an arbitrator having overturned Braun’s 50-game suspension because of a wildly positive, record-setting test for synthetic testosterone:
“I truly believe in my heart and I would bet my life that this substance never entered my body at any point.”
And here is something else Braun said that spring training day in Arizona, acting like a football player in the end zone doing a touchdown dance before he spiked the ball, or a ballplayer in a cadillac trot after a home run:
“I have always taken tremendous pride in my image and my reputation in being a role model and handling myself the right way and doing things the right way. And all of that has been called into question by this situation. When you know you’re innocent of something, it’s extremely difficult to have to prove it when you’re in a process where you’re 100 percent guilty until proven innocent.”
Braun beat the rap because of chain-of-custody issues, he sure did, never challenging the science of the test. But what he did do at the time — hideously and shamefully — was insinuate that the man from Major League Baseball charged with collecting Braun’s samples and sending them to the lab had somehow pulled a fast one, as preposterous as that notion was, starting with the fact that tampering with a drug test is a federal offense.
Andrew Savulich/New York Daily News
Alex Rodriguez, seen here leaving New York-Presbyterian Hospital following an MRI on Sunday, is in the on-deck circle following Ryan Braun’s suspension on Sunday.
Just so no one forgets, here is what Braun said about that collector, Dino Laurenzi, Sr.: “There are a lot of things we’ve heard about the collection process, the collector, and some other people involved in the process that have certainly been concerning to us.”
He ought to hope Laurenzi doesn’t sue him now. It was his character that was called into question, not the character of a phony like Braun. Ryan Braun: Who now gets suspended for the rest of this season by Major League Baseball, who is not allowed to walk away this time proclaiming his innocence; whether he actually admits to drug use or not. Ask yourself this question: if he wasn’t involved with baseball drugs, why isn’t he contesting this ban?
So Braun is the first baseball star to get banged this way in the Biogenesis case, with Alex Rodriguez in the on-deck circle. Braun is the first to go away, the golden-boy former MVP of the Milwaukee Brewers who wanted the whole world to believe a year-and-a-half ago that he had been falsely accused by baseball — or set up by a drug collector apparently prepared to do jail time to take down Ryan Braun — and that he would never have anything to do with performance-enhancing drugs.
Maybe Braun was kidding himself to the late innings of this, somehow convincing himself he could beat baseball and beat a drug rap again. Maybe that is why when he met with investigators from MLB at the end of June, those investigators wanting to question him about Anthony Bosch and his “anti-aging” Biogenesis clinic in Coral Gable, Braun refused to answer questions.