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The Early Lead
Posted at 05:16 PM ET, 12/19/2011

Report: Ryan Braun’s positive test a result of medication, not PEDs


Ryan Braun’s chances of avoiding a 50-game suspension remain mighty slim. (Jonathan Daniel - Getty Images)
You’ve seen it before. A big-name athlete tests positive for a performance enhancing drug, refutes the test to no avail and gets hit with public scrutiny, and often a suspension.

But the announcement of Ryan Braun’s positive test for a banned substance on Dec. 10 and the recently-named National League MVP’s vehement denial led some Brewers fans to speculate that perhaps the positive result had come from something else. Like, say for instance, medication for a “private” ailment.

Well, it appears there might just be something to that.

TMZ reported Monday that Braun tested positive for a “medication he’s taking for a private medical issue — NOT performance enhancing drugs.”

That certainly leaves much to the imagination (scour a few Brewers message boards and you’ll get a few more ideas), but the bigger question is: does it even matter?

Whatever medication Braun took, he is responsible for being aware of its ingredients. And if a banned substance was a component of that medication, he’s no less guilty than female fertility drug connoisseur Manny Ramirez or a human growth hormone user in the eyes of Major League Baseball’s policy.

BALCO founder Victor Conte knows a thing or two about that policy. Here’s what he told San Francisco’s KNBR during a radio interview with Gary and Larry:

“The first thing I hear that they’re saying is it’s an extremely high level, the highest that’s ever been recorded. Are they talking about in baseball or are they talking about in general? ... I’m not sure about that, but this is a double-whammy for him. Unless there’s some chain-of-custody issue, other technical problem during the collection and transport process, he’s basically dead in the water. ... I believe he’s going to serve the 50-game suspension.”

But even if Braun cannot avoid a 50-game ban, could the identity of the substance save his MVP award? And should it?

Until the league completes its investigation, Braun can continue to claim innocence all he wants — and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers can continue to support him ‘100 percent’. But even with this latest development, things don’t look good for the Hebrew Hammer.

(H/T Sports Radio Interviews)

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By  |  05:16 PM ET, 12/19/2011

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