NEW YORK — Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun won his appeal of his earlier positive test for performance-enhancing drugs.
The decision, announced on Feb.23, means that Braun – the reigning National League most valuable player and the first Jew to earn that distinction in nearly five decades – will avoid a 50-game suspension.
Braun’s suspension was overturned by an arbitrator. It’s believed to be the first time a baseball player has successfully challenged a drug-related grievance.
No reasoning for the ruling was given, but the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that the 2-1 ruling by the arbitration panel hearing Braun’s case turned on a technicality related to the timeliness of his drug test being passed to a testing lab.
In December, it was reported that Braun, the son of an Israeli-born father and Catholic mother, had tested positive for elevated testosterone levels. Braun denied using performance-enhancing drugs.
“I am very pleased and relieved by today’s decision,” Braun said in a statement reported by news agencies. “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.”
Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball’s vice-president for labor relations, said his organization “vehemently disagrees with the decision.”