Saturday, December 10, 2011

"Hebrew Hammer" Ryan Braun Of The Milwaukee Brewers Faces 50-Game Suspension From Major League Baseball For "Positive Drug Test"

Update December 19th: TMZ is reporting that Ryan Braun's positive test for banned substances was caused by medication he's taking for a private medical issue, and not performance-enhancing drugs. The medication contained banned substances resulting in the positive test. Their source is directly connected with Major League Baseball. Consequently, I have altered the title of this post to reflect this development. Yahoo Sports still thinks Braun will get suspended for 50 games anyway, because MLB jas a policy of strict liability.

Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, nicknamed the Hebrew Hammer because of his Jewish heritage, faces a 50-game suspension for having tested positive for what was first reported as PEDs (performance-enhancing drugs). If upheld, the suspension will be served for the first 50 games of the 2012 season. The information was not revealed publicly by Major League Baseball because Braun is disputing the result through arbitration; it was disclosed by unspecified sources. YouTube video of ESPN report embedded below:

Braun had to provide a urine sample for testing during the playoffs, and he was notified of the positive test sometime in late October 2011, about a month before he was named the National League's Most Valuable Player. The positive result was triggered by elevated levels of testosterone in Braun's system. A subsequent, more comprehensive test revealed the testosterone was synthetic -- not produced by Braun's body. Every individual naturally produces testosterone and a substance called epitestosterone, typically at a ratio of 1-to-1. In Major League Baseball, if the ratio comes in at 4-to-1 or higher during testing, a player is deemed to have tested positive.

A spokesman for Braun's agency, Creative Artists Agency, confirmed the positive test on December 10th and issued a statement: "There are highly unusual circumstances surrounding this case which will support Ryan's complete innocence and demonstrate there was absolutely no intentional violation of the program. While Ryan has impeccable character and no previous history, unfortunately, because of the process we have to maintain confidentiality and are not able to discuss it any further, but we are confident he will ultimately be exonerated." Another source close to Braun said that when he was told about the positive test, he immediately requested to be tested again. That second test, using a different sample that was tested by Braun's camp, the source said, was not positive.

Braun did not experience a particularly dramatic upsurge in performance in 2011. After hitting 25 home run runs and compling a .501 slugging percentage in 2010, he improved to a .332 batting average, 33 home runs, 111 runs batted in, 109 runs scored and 33 stolen bases in 2011. During the late '90s and early 2000s, confirmed steroid users were experiencing astronomical improvements in performance; Barry Bonds leaped from 49 home runs in 2000 to 73 home runs in 2001.

Ryan Braun traces his Jewish heritage through his father Joe, who lost much of his family in the Holocaust. Joe emigrated from Israel to the United States as a child and eventually married Ryan's mother, who is Catholic. Ryan Braun says he extremely proud to be Jewish and to be a role model for young Jewish kids, but doesn't want to make it into something more than what it is. He didn't have a bar mitzvah, and he doesn't observe Jewish holidays. Braun is not known to have engaged in any Jewish supremacist politics or Holocaust propaganda campaigns.

Reaction: Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times says that if Braun's suspension is upheld, his MVP award should be revoked. He writes, "Conduct a re-vote. Create a precedent for this kind of thing. If a guy tests positive before results are announced, make it clear that he will not be allowed to keep any award without it being put back in the hands of voters. This isn't revolutionary thinking. In the Olympics, medal winners are stripped of their medal awards all the time if they test positive. Sometimes, it takes years to do the retroactive thing".

This reflects the thinking expressed in thousands of comments to the ESPN story. Many thought the Dodgers' Matt Kemp should have been named N.L. MVP, and now they're calling for Braun to be stripped of his MVP award, particularly if the suspension is upheld. A Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel unscientific poll shows that 64 percent of respondents believe Braun's career will be tainted even if he is exonerated. Comments from the hometown Journal-Sentinel are more optimistic, cautioning against a rush to judgment.


Anonymous said...

Wow. A jew cheated and lied. Yes, he is a great role model for the yid-kids, as they will follow in his footsteps.

I really hope he plays the anti-semitism card.

Unfortunately, many people will refer to this cheater as "White."

Samurai1833 said...

Mark McGwire, Bill Romanowski, Chris Benoit. If you are going to call foul call it on everyone.