Baseball arbitrators overturn Braun suspension

Braun: 'I will always take the high road'
Braun: 'I will always take the high road'


    Braun: 'I will always take the high road'


Braun: 'I will always take the high road' 01:56

Story highlights

  • Outfielder Ryan Braun's victory is first successful appeal of drug policy
  • National League MVP exults over 2-1 ruling on testosterone finding
  • Major League Baseball "vehemently disagrees" with decision

A baseball arbitration board has thrown out the 50-game suspension handed down to Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun after the 2011 National League MVP challenged the results of a December drug test.

Thursday's decision marks the first successful appeal of a suspension under Major League Baseball's anti-drug policy. Braun hailed it as "the the first step in restoring my good name and reputation," but Major League Baseball said it "vehemently disagrees" with Thursday's decision.

The 28-year-old Braun led the Brewers to its first division title in three decades with a .332 batting average, 33 home runs and 111 runs batted in during the 2011 season. But he was slapped with the suspension in December after a drug test that the sports network ESPN, citing unidentified sources, said showed high levels of testosterone.

Braun said there were "highly unusual circumstances" that would show his innocence. The arbitration panel apparently agreed, voting 2-1 to overturn the suspension, according to the MLB Players Association.

Braun's 50-game suspension overturned
Braun's 50-game suspension overturned


    Braun's 50-game suspension overturned


Braun's 50-game suspension overturned 02:39

In a brief statement, the players' union said the result would not be made public normally -- but all parties agreed to release the decision "given the particulars of this case."

With baseball teams heading for spring training, Braun said in a written statement that he was "very pleased and relieved by today's decision."

Five top players with something to prove this spring

"I have been an open book, willing to share details from every aspect of my life as part of this investigation, because I have nothing to hide. I have passed over 25 drug tests in my career, including at least three in the past year," he said. He thanked the Brewers, fellow players and fans "who stuck by me and did not rush to judgment."

"This is not just about one person, but about all current and future players, and thankfully, today the process worked," Braun said.

MLB said drug testing is "essential to the integrity of our game," and that league officials "will exhaust all avenues in pursuit of the appropriate discipline" when a player tests positive for banned substances.

A third-party review is part of the process, Rob Manfred, MLB's executive vice president for labor relations, said in a statement on the Braun decision, and the leagues "have always respected that process."

However, he added, "Major League Baseball vehemently disagrees with the decision rendered today" by the panel, led by arbitrator Shyam Das.

      Sports spotlight

    • AG2R pair Peraud and Romain Bardet (right) thrilled the French fans with their performances on the 2014 Tour de France.

      When will French win Le Tour?

      Whisper it quietly, but after years of foreign domination the prospect of a French winner of the Tour de France is more than just a mere pipe dream.
    • Steve Way leads the in the Commonwealth Games marathon with the favorites massing behind him.

      From 20-a-day man to 26.2 miles

      Seven years ago Steve Way was a 20 per day smoker and weighed a hefty 104 kg, but he led the marathon at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
    • The queen of the selfies

      After just one day of competition, a new sport has emerged at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow: snapping selfies with the Queen.
    • Joanna Rowsell is flanked by Australian duo Annette Edmonson and Amy Cure (right) after the medal presentation for the women's individual pursuit.

      Rowsell stands proud again

      Inspirational cyclist Joanna Rowsell added another gold to her growing collection in the individual pursuit at the Commonwealth Games.
    • GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JULY 23: John Barrowman performs during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

      Gay kiss steals Glasgow show

      At the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, an actor upstaged the Queen by kissing a male dancer.
    • Daniel Carter of the All Blacks in action during the Third Test Match between the New Zealand All Blacks and France at Yarrow Stadium on June 22, 2013 in New Plymouth, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

      Can the All Blacks make history?

      The All Blacks and their fans are focused on one thing, says Dan Carter: becoming the first rugby nation to win back-to-back World Cups.

      Three days with 'The Greatest'

      Photographer Danny Lyon spent three days with Muhammad Ali in 1972 and shares his best photos and memories of the champ.
    • SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 23:  Sidney Crosby #87 of Canada celebrates after scoring his team's second goal in the second period during the Men's Ice Hockey Gold Medal match against Sweden on Day 16 of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 23, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

      Can ice hockey go global?

      With a growing audience boosted by the drama of ice hockey on show in Sochi at the Winter Olympics, can the sport capitalize on its popularity?
    • The first cover star of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue, Babette March

      Swimsuit legacy: First cover model

      Her paintings may sell for thousands of dollars, but she is best known for a modeling shot 50 years ago that helped launch a business empire.