Ryan Braun Expected To Speak At BBWAA Dinner, Will Have Hearing Soon

The Baseball Writers Association of America will hold its annual dinner and present its 2011 awards on Saturday in New York City. NL MVP Ryan Braun is expected to appear:

Braun will appear at the annual awards dinner of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Saturday in New York, a spokesman for the player told The New York Times.

“He will be there and he will accept his award,” Matthew Hiltzik told The Times.

The article indicates that Braun is expected to speak, but will not be available for interviews. Braun has not made a public appearance since word of his positive PED test was leaked on Dec. 10.

All of this comes as Braun’s hearing before an arbitrator is to happen soon, according to ESPN.com’s T.J. Quinn and Mark Fainaru-Wada:

MLB will present its case before the arbitrator, citing the evidence of positive test results that reflect synthetic testosterone in the outfielder’s system. The defense will present its own case. Braun’s representatives have told reporters there are extenuating circumstances; for example, that his testosterone was so elevated that he couldn’t have been intentionally doping.

Both sides can call witnesses and conduct cross-examination. The major difference, however, is the burden of proof: It’s up to Braun to prove that he’s innocent, not for MLB to prove that he’s guilty.

A result could be announced within a week of the hearing, and a full report is usually issued after 30 days.

According to Quinn and Fainaru-Wada, it won’t be easy for Braun to prove his innocence:

In order to reverse a positive test, Braun will have to argue that either the results were flawed or that there was no way he could have known that he ingested something that contained testosterone.

This case could set a precedent for future such hearings. For more on Braun and the Milwaukee Brewers, please visit Brew Crew Ball.

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