Last week, Ryan Braun spoke to the press for the first time since his suspension after testing positive for abnormally high levels of testosterone. In his impassioned speech, he proudly declared that his name had been “vindicated”.
Braun’s “vindication” came about when he successfully appealed his suspension based off of what is essentially a technicality. In his appeal, Braun pointed out that the sample collector kept the specimen for over 40 hours over the weekend before handing it off to FedEx for shipment, opening up the possibility that the specimen had been compromised.
Dino Laurenzi Jr., the man responsible for handling Braun’s samples, issued a statement on Friday denying that the specimen had been compromised in any way, adding that he was following established protocol.
“At no point did I tamper in any way with the samples,” Laurenzi said in the statement. “Given the lateness of the hour that I completed my collections, there was no FedEx office located within 50 miles of Miller Park that would ship packages that day or Sunday. Therefore, the earliest that the specimens could be shipped was Monday, October 3.
“In that circumstance, CDT has instructed collectors since I began in 2005 that they should safeguard the samples in their homes until FedEx is able to immediately ship the sample to the laboratory, rather than having the samples sit for one day or more at a local FedEx office. The protocol has been in place since 2005 when I started with CDT and there have been other occasions when I have had to store samples in my home for at least one day, all without incident.”
Braun’s lawyer, David Cornwell, was quick to fire back at Laurenzi, saying:
“Ryan Braun presented a winning defense in the forum that counted. The landmark decision in Ryan’s favor was based on the evidence and the plain meaning of the words in baseball’s joint drug program. The collector’s attempt to re-litigate his conduct is inappropriate, and his efforts will only be persuasive to those who do not understand the evidence or the rules.
“Ryan Braun was properly vindicated. Both Major League Baseball and Major League Baseball Players Association should be applauded because their joint program worked.”
Do you think Ryan Braun deserved to win his appeal?