National League MVP Ryan Braun has tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug according to Mark Fainaru-Wada and T.J. Quinn of ESPN. The 28-year-old Brewer is disputing the claim through the MLBPA, but if the test results are confirmed, he faces a 50-game suspension.
Braun was made aware of the positive test in late October after providing a urine sample for testing during the playoffs. The positive test was triggered by an elevated level of testosterone in Braun’s system. Usually (although certainly not always), these tests are caused by synthetic testosterone.
Representatives for the Brewers’ leftfielder issued this statement today:
“There are highly unusual circumstances surrounding this case which will support Ryan’s complete innocence and demonstrate 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 he will ultimately be exonerated.”
Braun hit .332/.397/.597 with 33 home runs and a 7.8 fWAR in 2011, helping the Brewers to the NL Central crown and just their second playoff appearance since 1982.
There is no word yet on whether or not a confirmed positive test will result in Braun being stripped of his MVP Award. More on this in the days to come.