A urine sample submitted by Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun during the playoffs tested positive for high levels of testosterone that turned out to be synthetic. However, while Braun now has a positive test on his record, what he doesn't have - yet - is a suspension. Braun is appealing the case, and if you're wondering on what grounds, we turn to his spokesman:
"There are highly unusual circumstances surrounding this case which will support Ryan's complete innocence and demonstrate there was absolutely no intentional violation of the program. While Ryan has impeccable character and no previous history, unfortunately, because of the process we have to maintain confidentiality and are not able to discuss it any further, but we are confident he will ultimately be exonerated."
I can't imagine what kind of highly unusual circumstances Braun's spokesman might be referring to, mostly because they're highly unusual circumstances. But, we'll see. Braun isn't coming right out and admitting to an error in judgment, which could be meaningful, since a few years ago he had this to say on Alex Rodriguez's steroid use:
"... The best thing he can do is come out, admit to everything and be completely honest," Braun said. "The situation will die a lot faster if he tells the whole truth."
Or maybe it's not meaningful. Words vs. actions and all that. Braun could very well have known what he was doing the whole time. I don't know! Almost anything is possible!
It's unlikely that Braun will be able to avoid a 50-game suspension, as the standard for a successful appeal is very high, but Braun's going to try. The process could take a few weeks.