Braun wins appeal of 50-game suspension, to talk at noon Friday

the WTMJ News Team, The Associated Press & The Journal Sentinel

Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Braun wins appeal of 50-game suspension, to talk at noon Friday

By the WTMJ News Team, The Associated Press & The Journal Sentinel. CREATED Feb 23, 2012 - UPDATED: Feb 24, 2012

NEW YORK - Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun is set to discuss his successful appeal of a 50-game suspension at a 12:00 p.m. C.T. news conference on Friday.

Baseball arbitrator Shyam Das overturned the suspension of the National League MVP.

The decision was announced Thursday by the Major League Baseball Players Association.An outfielder for Milwaukee, Braun tested positive in October for elevated testosterone, and ESPN revealed the positive test in December.

"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.

The sample was collected on Oct. 1, a Saturday and the day the Brewers opened the NL playoffs.

The Associated Press reports the collector did not send the sample to the laboratory until Monday, thinking it would be more secure at home that at a Federal Express office during the weekend.

Baseball's drug agreement states that "absent unusual circumstances, the specimens should be sent by FedEx to the laboratory on the same day they are collected."

The Journal Sentinel's Tom Haudricourt wrote about the ruling.

The following is a statement from Ryan Braun, released through his public-relations agency, in response to the arbitration decision:

"I am very pleased and relieved by today's decision.

"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.

"I would like to thank my family and friends, my teammates, the Brewers organization led by Mark Attanasio, Doug Melvin, Gord Ash and Ron Roenicke, and other players around the league who have expressed their support and our great fans in Milwaukee and around the country who stuck by me and did not rush to judgment.

"I'd also like to offer special thanks to Michael Weiner and the Players Association for believing in me since day one and to my attorneys.

"I'd like to thank my agent Nez Balelo and Terry Prince of CAA Sports and Matthew Hiltzik of Hiltzik Strategies for all of their help and counsel through the process.

"This is not just about one person, but about all current and future players, and thankfully, today the process worked.

"Despite the challenges of this adversarial process, I do appreciate the professionalism demonstrated by the Panel Chair and the Office of the Commissioner.

"As I said before, I've always loved and had so much respect for the game of baseball.

"Everything I've done in my career has been with that respect and appreciation in mind.

"I look forward to finally being able to speak to the fans and the media on Friday and then returning the focus to baseball and working with my Brewers teammates on defending our National League Central title."