Ryan Braun won the National League MVP award last season and led the Milwaukee… (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated…)
Ryan Braun, the reigning National League MVP, won his appeal of a positive test for a performance-enhancing drug and had his 50-game suspension overturned by an arbitrator.
MLB and the players' union announced the decision Thursday.
Rob Manfred, MLB's vice president for labor relations, was incensed at the ruling, saying in a statement:
"Major League Baseball considers the obligations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program essential to the integrity of our game, our clubs and all of the players who take the field. It has always been Major League Baseball's position that no matter who tests positive, we will exhaust all avenues in pursuit of the appropriate discipline. We have been true to that position in every instance, because baseball fans deserve nothing less.
"As a part of our drug-testing program, the commissioner's office and the Players Association agreed to a neutral third party review for instances that are under dispute. While we have always respected that process, Major League Baseball vehemently disagrees with the decision rendered today by arbitrator Shyam Das."
ESPN reported in December that Braun, who plays for the Milwaukee Brewers, had tested positive for synthetic testosterone during the playoffs, and he took his appeal to an arbitrator in January. After 35 days, an arbitration panel, by a 2-1 vote, sustained Braun's challenge.
Braun, 28, hit .332 with 33 home runs, 111 RBI and 33 steals for the Brewers last season and won the MVP award, outpointing Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp.
We will have more on this story later at latimes.com/sports.
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