Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, the National League’s MVP in 2011, faces a 50-game suspension after reportedly testing positive for elevated levels of testosterone during the playoffs, according to a report Saturday.
ESPN reported that further tests showed the testosterone was synthetic. Braun is disputing the positive result.
A spokesperson for Braun on Saturday issued the following statement: “There are highly unusual circumstances surrounding this case which will support Ryan’s complete innocence and demonstrate that 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 that he will ultimately be exonerated.”
According to ESPN, Braun provided a urine sample in October and was notified of the positive result later in October.
A violation of MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Policy has never been successfully appealed.
Braun, 28, batted a career-high .332, hit 33 home runs and had 111 RBIs for the Brewers in 2011. He then batted .500 in the NL Division Series and .333 in the NLCS, where the Brewers were eliminated by the St. Louis Cardinals, at around the time he tested positive.
In MVP balloting, Braun received 20 first-place votes and therefore outpointed second-place finisher Matt Kemp, who received 10.
A player has never been stripped of a Baseball Writers Association of America award.