Milwaukee Brewers

Ryan Braun: Why Innocent Verdict May Not Clear His Name with Some Fans

ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 14:  Ryan Braun #8 of the Milwaukee Brewers reacts after he struck out to end the top of the fifth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals during Game Five of the National League Championship Series at Busch Stadium on October 14, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Justin KeithCorrespondent IFebruary 24, 2012

The 2011 NL MVP Ryan Braun won his appeal yesterday, erasing what would have been a positive test for PEDs and a 50-game suspension.

Naturally, Braun was pleased and relieved on the outcome:

I am very pleased and relieved by today's decision. It is the first step in restoring my good name and reputation. We were able to get through this because I am innocent and the truth is on our side.

The verdict now means Braun can focus on baseball and report to Brewers' camp an innocent man and the reigning NL MVP.

Nobody is more happy about this positive outcome for Braun than the Brewers, as they get their superstar player back for an entire season and have new hope for the upcoming 2012 season.

However, not everyone is happy about the decision by the panel. According to ESPN sources, MLB is upset with the ruling:

Sources said MLB is livid and is evaluating the possibility of suing in federal court to have Das' decision overturned.

MLB Executive Vice President of Labor Relations, Rob Manfred, also released a statement on behalf of Major League Baseball:

While we have always respected that process, Major League Baseball vehemently disagrees with the decision rendered today by arbitrator Shyam Das.

Unfortunately for Braun, baseball fans are rarely forgiving when it comes to PED use in today's game. Just use Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Mark McGwire as examples. Those players haven't even had a positive test but are still assumed guilty.

Although he was exonerated, Braun will face an uphill battle with fans who still believe he is guilty of cheating.

Right or wrong, Braun will have to still defend himself this spring training and perhaps beyond.

The court of public opinion may be more difficult than the court Braun just had to plead his case in.

One of the main reasons fans could be skeptical of Braun's victory is the fact he won, largely, on a technicality.

Braun reportedly failed a test in October and had elevated testosterone levels but the test sat for two days before being shipped to the lab. The tests are supposed to be sent the same day as they are taken by FedEx.

Braun then took a second test and it showed normal levels of testosterone.

In time, Braun's name will be fully cleared in some fan's minds, however, it could prove difficult to get the doubt of out others.

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