Ryan Braun and the “technicality”

Posted By on February 24, 2012 8:47 am

Ever since the shocking announcement that Ryan Braun won the appeal of his drug suspension, I’ve heard a lot of people still critical. They say “If he’s innocent, he should have argued that instead of getting off on a technicality.”

That shows a lack of understanding not just of the law, but of simple logic.

Let’s say he’s innocent. Say he never took a single drug in his life. Not even aspirin.

MLB: “We have a test of your urine that shows Chemical X.”
Braun: “But I never took anything.”
MLB: “OK, but we have a test of your urine that shows Chemical X.”

Where do you go from there?

Braun’s only defense is to challenge the accuracy of the test, whether he is totally innocent or whether he’s guilty and looking for an out. Doesn’t matter. His only defense is to challenge the accuracy of the test.

This isn’t some murder case where there is other evidence, like witnesses who can be challenged. The only evidence is the test. So the only way to beat it is to challenge the test. Period.

Did you think that MLB would come back and say “Even though we have this positive test and Mr. Braun gave us no reason to believe the test was faulty, he looked us straight in the eyes and said he was innocent and we believed him, so we let him off”?

I don’t know whether Braun is really innocent or if he’s really guilty and did get lucky on a loophole. (I think the most likely scenario, considering all the tests he passed before, is that he accidentally took a banned substance.) All I know is that he defended himself in exactly the way he should.


3 Responses to “Ryan Braun and the “technicality””

  1. Ron Kaplan says:

    Great argument, Jeff. To paraphrase Braun at his press conference this afternoon, athletes are 100 percent guilty until proven innocent. I just pray that now that he’s in the clear and can pretty much say whatever he likes without fear of reprisal, that something doesn’t pop up down the road, a la Raphael Palmiero.

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