Braun suspension: What you need to know

In question-and-answer form, this is a look at the issues and implications of Major League Baseball’s suspension of Ryan Braun:

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Q: WHY WAS RYAN BRAUN SUSPENDED?

A: Braun was suspended following MLB’s investigation of Biogenesis of America, a closed Florida anti-aging clinic accused in Miami New Times and other media of distributing banned performing-enhancing drugs. Under the agreement between MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association, no specifics of the conduct causing the suspension were announced other than it was “for violations of the basic agreement and its joint drug prevention and treatment program.”

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Q: WHY WAS THE SUSPENSION 65 GAMES?

A: The suspension for the rest of Milwaukee’s season resulted from an agreement between MLB and the union, eliminating the possibility of Braun asking the players’ association to file a grievance on his behalf challenging any punishment. A person familiar with the deal, speaking on condition of anonymity because no statements were authorized, said 50 games of the penalty were connected to Biogenesis. The additional 15 games stemmed from Braun’s actions during the grievance that overturned his positive test for testosterone from October 2011.

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Q: WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF BRAUN HAD NOT AGREED TO THE SUSPENSION?

A: MLB likely would have suspended him for a lengthier period, and Braun would have asked the union to file a grievance that would have been decided by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz, likely after the season. When MLB attempted to suspend Braun for 50 games following the positive test two years ago, the discipline was overturned by arbitrator Shyam Das after Braun’s lawyers claimed his urine sample was not handled properly.

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Q: WHAT DOES THIS COST BRAUN?

A: It would appear a little more than $3 million. Braun is making $8.5 million, and baseball’s drug agreement says the number of days of lost pay “shall equal the number of games (excluding postseason games) for which he is suspended.” That would mean Braun will lose 65/183rds of his salary, which comes to $3,019,126. He is signed to Milwaukee through 2020, and his salary increases to $10 million next year _ meaning a 65-game suspension in 2014 would have cost him $3,551,913.

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Q: DOES BRAUN KEEP HIS 2011 NL MVP AWARD?

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