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Opinion

Milwaukee Brewersʼ Ryan Braun defeats drug allegation

March 2, 2012

Milwaukee Brewers fans everywhere heard the great news that Ryan Braun would be available to play the first 50 games of the season.

For those of you who didn’t know, Braun was facing a 50-game suspension after testing positive for Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) after the first round of the National League (NL) playoffs. Like all athletes, Braun vehemently denied having taken any PEDs stating that we would have hit 70 home runs if he had. Braun went on to win the NL Most Valuable Player (MVP) award at the end of the season with his future very much in doubt.

After that initial test, Brewers fans heard nothing from Braun or Major League Baseball (MLB) until this past week. For the first time in baseball’s history a player successfully appealed his 50 game suspension and won. However, the method in which Braun won has been placed under scrutiny.

Many rumors have circulated, but no one has really come forward to tell the entire story. Originally there was a rumor that Braun was taking prescription steroids, but did not inform the MLB about it. If that were the case then Braun would still be at fault.

However, the common report after Braun was exonerated was that he won his appeal based on a technicality in the rule. After the ruling came down, Major League Baseball issued a statement that they “vehemently disagreed” with the deci- sion on Braun. Clearly, MLB felt that it had enough evidence to suspend Braun for 50 games. As it stands, we still do not know if Braun took PEDs or not. The only person who truly knows is Braun himself.

The bigger issue at hand is what this means for Major League Baseball. With Braun winning his appeal this has set a precedent for other players who test positive in the future. If Braun can win his case on a technicality, as is alleged, then what can stop other players from doing the same? Baseball will need to find a way to close that loophole to prevent other players from doing the same thing.

Obviously, this whole problem could be fixed if someone would tell the truth. Braun continues to deny that he took any PEDs and, for all we know, he could be telling the truth.

However, many baseball purists worry that somewhere down the road Braun will admit to having taken PEDs and that he got away with it. An incident that would ruin the reputation of the game which baseball has tried so hard the past five years to repair.

I for one choose to believe that Braun is innocent and that he was wrongfully accused of taking PEDs. However, there will be many who doubt Braun’s story. Whether or not he actually took steroids, Braun’s reputation has been destroyed by these allegations and he will probably never return to his former status.

Regardless, Spring Training has started and, fortunately for Brewers fans, Braun is ready to go. It should be an interesting season.

Benjamin Lamers is an alumnus of UW-River Falls. He was editor of the Student Voice during fall semester 2013.

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