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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wisconsin man who collected Ryan Braun’s urine sample issues statement “to set the record straight”

I followed the same procedure in collecting Mr. Braun’s sample as I did in the hundreds of other samples I collected under the Program. I sealed the bottles containing Mr. Braun’s A and B samples with specially-numbered, tamper-resistant seals, and Mr. Braun signed a form certifying, among other things, that the specimens were capped and sealed in his presence and that the specimen identification numbers on the top of the form matched those on the seals.

I placed the two bottles containing Mr. Braun’s samples in a plastic bag and sealed the bag. I then placed the sealed bag in a standard cardboard Specimen Box which I also sealed with a tamper-resistant, correspondingly-numbered seal placed over the box opening. I then placed Mr. Braun’s Specimen Box, and the Specimen Boxes containing the samples of the two other players, in a Federal Express Clinic Pack. None of the sealed Specimen Boxes identified the players. I completed my collections at Miller Park at approximately 5:00 p.m. Given the lateness of the hour that I completed my collections, there was no FedEx office located within 50 miles of Miller Park that would ship packages that day or Sunday.

On Monday, October 3, I delivered the FedEx Clinic Pack containing Mr. Braun’s Specimen Box to a FedEx office for delivery to the laboratory on Tuesday, October 4. At no point did I tamper in any way with the samples. It is my understanding that the samples were received at the laboratory with all tamper-resistant seals intact.

Fat Al Posted: February 28, 2012 at 04:48 PM | 259 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: brewers, steroids

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   1. Riki Tiki Javy Lopez Posted: February 28, 2012 at 07:45 PM (#4070532)
I fully expected him to own up to tampering with the samples. Damn.

Seriously, who cares? Suspension overturned, play ball.
   2. dejarouehg Posted: February 28, 2012 at 07:45 PM (#4070533)
You'd have to assume that Ryan knew this was coming when he went after this guy. Even though I'm a big Braun fan, (absent knowing something specific, which I doubt) I hope he gets his butt kicked on this one. His accusation was reprehensible.
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 28, 2012 at 07:59 PM (#4070538)
He should get his own reality show.
   4. Bhaakon Posted: February 28, 2012 at 08:09 PM (#4070546)
Well, that certainly makes Braun look guilty and the arbiter look stupid. Assuming it's all true (and much of it, particularly concerning the protocol, is verifiable, so I expect we'll find out soon). If those are the facts, that 6 samples were stored in the same conditions, there were absolutely no signs of tampering, and only Braun's 2 samples came back dirty, then I can see why MLB is hopping mad.
   5. Willie Mayspedes Posted: February 28, 2012 at 08:11 PM (#4070550)
The guy has a point.

No delivery on Saturday.

Why do testing on a Saturday without a proper procedure to follow?

Whoops I put in area code 53202 and the drop-off times were all before 5PM on Saturdays.
   6. Guapo Posted: February 28, 2012 at 08:12 PM (#4070552)
He should get his own reality show.


Tonight on "Urine Trouble," Dino has to make a tough decision- drive around Milwaukee looking for a Fed Ex office that's open late-- or meet his wife for a sexy anniversary dinner cooked by celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito! Will Dino choose marital bliss- or to deliver the piss?!
   7. Bhaakon Posted: February 28, 2012 at 08:17 PM (#4070557)
Why do testing on a Saturday without a proper procedure to follow?


Because some PEDs can be out of the system in 48 hours or less, so not testing over the weekend would give players a free pass to roid-up on Friday night.

Besides, "keep the sample in a safe place under control of the collector until it can be shipped" seems like a perfectly reasonable procedure, unless there's some evidence that doing so will alter the outcome.
   8. JoeHova Posted: February 28, 2012 at 08:17 PM (#4070558)
Tonight on "Urine Trouble," Dino has to make a tough decision- drive around Milwaukee looking for a Fed Ex office that's open late-- or meet his wife for a sexy anniversary dinner cooked by celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito! Will Dino choose marital bliss- or to deliver the piss?!

Nice.
   9. Something Other Posted: February 28, 2012 at 08:30 PM (#4070571)
Tamper-resistant


?

It's easy to make the sample seals tamper-proof, in that if they're broken open, they're impossible to counterfeit.
   10. puck Posted: February 28, 2012 at 08:32 PM (#4070572)
No one other than my wife was in my home during the period in which the samples were stored.


A-ha! Guilty, Mrs. Laurenzi!
   11. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 28, 2012 at 08:44 PM (#4070582)
He sounds pissed.
   12. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: February 28, 2012 at 08:59 PM (#4070589)
Because some PEDs can be out of the system in 48 hours or less, so not testing over the weekend would give players a free pass to roid-up on Friday night.


Um, I don't think they work that way. We're not talking underdog's Super Energy Pill here. You don't take an injection and start hitting tape measure home runs immediately.

Besides, "keep the sample in a safe place under control of the collector until it can be shipped" seems like a perfectly reasonable procedure, unless there's some evidence that doing so will alter the outcome.


But it's not reasonable to leave the evidence in the hands of the evidence collector for a long period of time. Yeah, there's little chance he can/will tamper with it, but it just looks bad. That's why cops don't take evidence home and log it in when they come in in the morning.

   13. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: February 28, 2012 at 09:01 PM (#4070592)
I have stopped caring about Ryan Braun's urine. I'm not sure I ever started, frankly.
   14. Metman died today. Or yesterday maybe, Posted: February 28, 2012 at 09:11 PM (#4070595)
The story here is that he's hired an $800 an hour white collar lawyer at WilmerHale (presumably paid for by MLB under a defense/indemnity agreement with the testing company) who also just happens to be the former Deputy US Attorney for the Southern District of New York (and an AUSA there for almost 15 years).

Now, why would a guy in Wisconsin hire a criminal lawyer with huge connections in the SDNY USAO?

I have a feeling this isn't the end of the story.
   15. Bhaakon Posted: February 28, 2012 at 09:23 PM (#4070598)
Um, I don't think they work that way. We're not talking underdog's Super Energy Pill here. You don't take an injection and start hitting tape measure home runs immediately.


They work by (among other things) letting you recover from workouts more quickly and therefore work out more often, more strenuously, and longer. As you say, they're not not super energy pills that magically turn a player into a tape-measure home-run hitting machine, but being able to spend another few hours each week in the weight room might result in a player being stronger, healthier, and better than they would be without the PEDs. A player also doesn't have to have them in his system 24/7 to reap the rewards of their past use, because he'd still benefit from those extra work outs long after the drugs have been flushed from his system.

But it's not reasonable to leave the evidence in the hands of the evidence collector for a long period of time. Yeah, there's little chance he can/will tamper with it, but it just looks bad. That's why cops don't take evidence home and log it in when they come in in the morning.


MLB drug testing is not a criminal investigation, and the collectors are not police officers. It's not reasonable to set up police-evidence room levels of security to store a couple dozen tests a season in 30 different cities. The collector followed procedures that both MLB and the Union could have (and probably did, or at least should have) reviewed before hand. Considering that this is not a criminal case, storage with an individual vetted by both sides (like, say, a professional sample collector long trusted to handle similar samples) should be acceptable. There's a practical limit to the level of protection in the system.
   16. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: February 28, 2012 at 09:25 PM (#4070600)
Besides, "keep the sample in a safe place under control of the collector until it can be shipped" seems like a perfectly reasonable procedure, unless there's some evidence that doing so will alter the outcome.


But it's not reasonable to leave the evidence in the hands of the evidence collector for a long period of time. Yeah, there's little chance he can/will tamper with it, but it just looks bad.

And people keep saying things that sound contradictory, but aren't. It seems like there was no FedEx facility for 50 miles that would ship the sample out that night. But there were plenty of facilities that would take the sample right away. While this probably doesn't affect the integrity of a sample that has been sealed, it is a difference in the chain of custody.
   17. Squash Posted: February 28, 2012 at 09:27 PM (#4070601)
removed
   18. Bhaakon Posted: February 28, 2012 at 09:37 PM (#4070605)
And people keep saying things that sound contradictory, but aren't. It seems like there was no FedEx facility for 50 miles that would ship the sample out that night. But there were plenty of facilities that would take the sample right away. While this probably doesn't affect the integrity of a sample that has been sealed, it is a difference in the chain of custody.


Except that having the collector keeping it at his residence rather than storing it over the weekend at a shipping facility is the agreed upon protocol, according to Laurenzi. If his statement is accurate, the correct procedures for maintaining the chain of custody were followed.
   19. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: February 28, 2012 at 09:42 PM (#4070609)
Except that having the collector keeping it at his residence rather than storing it over the weekend at a shipping facility is the agreed upon protocol, according to Laurenzi. If his statement is accurate, the correct procedures for maintaining the chain of custody were followed.

Sort of. Not agreed upon between MLB and the testing company. But the testing company apparently told the guy that this is what he should do, so he's not really to blame.
   20. shock Posted: February 28, 2012 at 09:43 PM (#4070610)

Tonight on "Urine Trouble," Dino has to make a tough decision- drive around Milwaukee looking for a Fed Ex office that's open late-- or meet his wife for a sexy anniversary dinner cooked by celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito! Will Dino choose marital bliss- or to deliver the piss?!


</thread>
   21. Morty Causa Posted: February 28, 2012 at 10:18 PM (#4070620)
Do we actually know what "the law" is? What are the agreed-upon procedures between the players union and MLB? Is what the Fed-Ex employee did unusual? Is it covered by "the law"? Has the arbitration officer(s) issued reasons for his (their) decision?
   22. Lassus Posted: February 28, 2012 at 10:50 PM (#4070626)
This is becoming surreal.
   23. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: February 28, 2012 at 10:52 PM (#4070627)
What are the agreed-upon procedures between the players union and MLB?

Per the MLB drug protocol:

XI. E. If the specimen is not immediately prepared for shipment, the Collector shall ensure that it is appropriately safeguarded during temporary storage.

1. The Collector must keep the chain of custody intact.

2. The Collector must store the samples in a cool and secure location.


It's a more subjective judgment than I would've thought. If the collector had the sample for 48 hours, it's arguably "temporary." But at what point does it become too old to become temporary? MLB surely drafted these rules - they frankly should've expected some exposure on the vagueness of this section given that weekend tests are routine.


Has the arbitration officer(s) issued reasons for his (their) decision?

Craig C. writes that a reasoned decision will be issued in a few weeks.
   24. Ray (RDP) Posted: February 28, 2012 at 11:02 PM (#4070632)
And people keep saying things that sound contradictory, but aren't. It seems like there was no FedEx facility for 50 miles that would ship the sample out that night. But there were plenty of facilities that would take the sample right away. While this probably doesn't affect the integrity of a sample that has been sealed, it is a difference in the chain of custody.


How is it a difference in the chain of custody? The chain remains unbroken in either case.
   25. Dale Sams Posted: February 28, 2012 at 11:11 PM (#4070642)
Well, that certainly makes Braun look guilty and the arbiter look stupid.


Braun is guilty, but the arbiter isn't stupid. MLB's policy isn't about justice. I don't care about steroids unless there's a regime that can, say, turn Ellsbury from a 10 HR hitter into a 32 HR hitter, and is so quick that there's a very small chance of getting caught. Then I care because it distorts players value greatly. I also hope HGH doesn't work at all because supposedly it leaves the body after a day or so.
   26. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: February 28, 2012 at 11:23 PM (#4070647)
How is it a difference in the chain of custody? The chain remains unbroken in either case.

I didn't say it was broken, I said there was a difference. One is a guy who has sole, unsupervised possession of the sample, which he can identify, for a period of several days. The other is having an anonymous package swimming in a sea of FedEx packages. I'd say that's different.
   27. ptodd Posted: February 28, 2012 at 11:26 PM (#4070649)
CDT may have it's own protocol that differs from MLB/MLBPA JDA. CDT also collects for the DOJ.

I think CDT believes the sample is more secure in a collectors home than left in Fed Ex storage facility where dozens of unvetted (by CDT) Fed Ex employees have access to it.

Makes sense to me.

The question is can the collector tamper with the sample?. Given he has the seals, packaging and kits, whats to prevent him from just replacing Brauns sample and then sealing it and packing it with new materials and preparing a new COC form so the numbers match up. I don't know the answer to this question.

I also think Brauns sample that tested positive should be tested for DNA and that should be routine if tampering by a collector is even a 1% possibility. Even though the case is settled it's not too late to assure the public of the validity of the test results. I think everyone (except Will Carroll who seems to believe only the T/E test was done, and which could be affected by storage to some minor degree) agrees that storage conditions would not have affected the results of the CIR test which showed synthetic testosterone.

Another thing that could be done is to have 2 samples, sent to different labs, and using different collectors. This would increase the cost of the program, but MLB and MLBPA can afford it.

   28. shock Posted: February 28, 2012 at 11:26 PM (#4070651)
I don't give even the smallest toss possible about steroids and who uses them, but even to me it's clear Braun got extremely lucky.
   29. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: February 28, 2012 at 11:27 PM (#4070652)
The people that say it is impossible to counterfeit the seals are morons.
   30. SteveM. Posted: February 28, 2012 at 11:28 PM (#4070653)
I fully expected him to own up to tampering with the samples. Damn.

Seriously, who cares? Suspension overturned, play ball.


If someone questioned my integrity, I'd be a little peeved myself.
   31. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: February 28, 2012 at 11:48 PM (#4070661)
I think CDT believes the sample is more secure in a collectors home than left in Fed Ex storage facility where dozens of unvetted (by CDT) Fed Ex employees have access to it.

Makes sense to me.


They may think that, but it doesn't make sense to me. Unless, of course, the package is stamped RYAN BRAUN URINE SAMPLE. Otherwise, it's a random package and much less likely to be tampered with.
   32. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: February 28, 2012 at 11:56 PM (#4070666)
I didn't say it was broken, I said there was a difference. One is a guy who has sole, unsupervised possession of the sample, which he can identify, for a period of several days. The other is having an anonymous package swimming in a sea of FedEx packages. I'd say that's different.

But the agreement states that the Collector is responsible for storing the samples in a cool and secure location. He has no control over either of those variables, if the sample is in a FedEx storage room.
   33. Andere Richtingen Posted: February 29, 2012 at 12:07 AM (#4070675)
Where did he keep the samples while he and the chaperones were watching the Brewers beat the D-Backs?
   34. Morty Causa Posted: February 29, 2012 at 12:43 AM (#4070681)
23:

Thanks for taking the trouble, Steve. I agree that the criteria seems kind of vague and general. Now to find the time to go over that. In a quick perusal, I didn't see any time frame to get the specimen to its destination or that it had to be refrigerated.
   35. base ball chick Posted: February 29, 2012 at 12:51 AM (#4070683)
what i still think is very interesting is that MLB refused to allow the urine sample to be DNA tested when braun wanted that. why on earth if they are so sure it couldn't be tampered with, would they refuse something like that?
   36. KT's Pot Arb Posted: February 29, 2012 at 01:04 AM (#4070687)
But the agreement states that the Collector is responsible for storing the samples in a cool and secure location. He has no control over either of those variables, if the sample is in a FedEx storage room.


Fed-Ex will keep medical samples in a cool and secure location is well, it's been shipping temperature sensitive packages for a long time.

The difference is that Fed-Ex doesn't know what is in the packages, whether they are drug testing samples, or whether they came from MLB players, or whether they belonged to a Brewer, a Prince, or a Braun. Once Fed-Ex takes the samples they become anonymized, which is hugely important..

There were 20 drop off locations open on his way home, but he wants you to focus on the fact that they would not immediately ship the specimens, despite the fact they would have accepted them.

It was originally reported the collector kept the samples in a refrigerator. Then on his desk. Now he says in a tub in his basement

We also know the collector waited 6 hours to take the samples to Fed-Ex that Monday. Why would anyone want to keep boxes of piss in their house for an un-necessary day and a half instead of just dropping them immediately at the nearest fed-ex? Why would you keep them an extra 6 hours?

We only have the word of the collector that no one entered his house, that the samples were undisturbed. And when the collector has done their job in such a strange and haphazard manner, you have to wonder, especially when samples are so easy to be undetectably tampered with as long as

A) You have them in a private location.
B) You have hours to work on them undisturbed.
and
C) They aren't yet anonymized, so you can be sure you are tampering with the correct sample..
   37. KT's Pot Arb Posted: February 29, 2012 at 01:21 AM (#4070688)
Considering that this is not a criminal case, storage with an individual vetted by both sides (like, say, a professional sample collector long trusted to handle similar samples) should be acceptable. There's a practical limit to the level of protection in the system.


This can never be allowed. It opens the door to the possibility of a collector being bribed, influenced, threatened, or merely identified and have samples surreptitiously tampered with, as well as a rogue collector tampering with samples for their own reasons. I never would have believed an NBA ref could be manipulated by gamblers, but when you assume they can't be instead of proactively designing systems to prevent it, you end up with at least one corrupted referee.

Samples have to be anonymized as quickly as possible to avoid leaving a huge door wide open to those who would manipulate the process.

Here is another example of Why.

Braun: Testing? Today? Oh man I'm screwed, I just ate a bowl of wheaties injected with massive amounts of synthetic testosterone.

Collector: Sorry to hear it, Ryan, but I need your pee.

Braun: You know how much this will cost me in salary and endorsements?

Collector: I dont care, I only care about how much you would pay for me to lose this sample..

Braun: $1 million.

Collector: I need immediate payment.

Braun: But it's Saturday, can't you trust me till the bank opens on Monday?

Collector: No, but I can hold the sample until Monday afternoon, as I need it in twenties
   38. KT's Pot Arb Posted: February 29, 2012 at 01:30 AM (#4070690)
I hope he gets his butt kicked on this one. His accusation was reprehensible.


No, the fact that we commonly have drug testing in a manner that doesnt quickly anonymize samples, and allows collectors to hold them for days knowing who was tested, is reprehensible. The tester may have just barely followed his companies protocol,, but the protocol is inherently wrong, easily corrupted, and the nicest thing you can say about the collector is that he was shoddy. But if you chose to be accurate instead of nice you should say he was shockingly lazy and unprofessional to an extremely suspicious degree.
   39. my2cents Posted: February 29, 2012 at 02:19 AM (#4070697)
There are lots of ways to hide performance enhancing drugs from a pee test (I work on protein drugs for a small pharma company we work on therapeutics) but it's much harder to hide them in a blood test - though there are a few ways around that too. I'm not sure what happened regarding his test but Braun is right about at least one thing, the system of testing is flawed. The whole thing seems like a joke to me. I prefer to work on cancer, but if my life depended on it I could fool any drug test, and I'm sure that there are many unscrupulous drug designers out there with even greater talents than me. I can't fathom how he failed a pee test if he was actually paying one of those guys to cheat. What do I know? Maybe he's a idiot? But I think he deserves a break.
   40. Tripon Posted: February 29, 2012 at 02:33 AM (#4070700)
Ultimately, I don't understand why baseball doesn't keep a locked storage container on the premises of baseball teams like Miller Park.

Why should baseball trust an independent contractor like Dino to store it for a weekend?

Also, if it is your job to transport piss, you should do it as fast as you can. He can claim he followed protocol, but there is a time discrepancy, and he's not explaining why it supposedly took so long on Monday to ship out the package.
   41. Rusty Mitchener Posted: February 29, 2012 at 02:34 AM (#4070701)
Jock- snifffing to the max. Pathetic.
   42. Tripon Posted: February 29, 2012 at 02:38 AM (#4070702)
Yes, its jock sniffing to point out the flaws of the testing system that MLB implements. I could give two ##### about Ryan Braun or anybody else in this case, but if MLB wants me to believe their system works, then they need to fix the ####### issues surrounding this case.
   43. Boxkutter Posted: February 29, 2012 at 03:08 AM (#4070706)
Ultimately, I don't understand why baseball doesn't keep a locked storage container on the premises of baseball teams like Miller Park.


Like where they kept the bat Albert Belle was accused of corking?

A little background: I work in a halfway house. I will monitor anywhere between two and thirty UAs a day. And we have an office in our facility where people on probation/parole/human services can submit to UAs if required at any time of the day or night. People who work soley in that office can collect anywhere between 80-120 UAs a day... each. And there are usually 3-4 people working in that office every day. I have covered shifts in that office. I see more penis than any man should ever have to.

I don't know exactly how this company works, but with us, we print out a Chain of Custody (COC) sheet (I wouldn't be surprised if those were pre-printed out for him and he just took them with him), and once the UA is complete, the person tested initials and signs off on several places on that sheet, including long stickers that are then peeled off the UA COC sheet and placed over the lid of the sample. It sticks to both the lid and the bottle and tears easily (then sometimes a second sticker will be placed going around the bottle, like a label, and covers the first sticker, so they are stuck together). Any attempt to peel the sticker off the lid will cause the sticker to tear. As far as I know, a torn sticker on one of those will automatically be flagged by the lab. There is a COC number on both the COC sheet and the stickers that are placed on the specimen. The specimen is then placed in a small plastic bag with a copy of the COC sheet (we give a copy to the donor as well) and sealed. We then drop that bag into a small locked refrigerator with a hole in the front for the UAs to be dropped in.

Now I am not saying it is not impossible to find a way to re-print that exact COC sheet (we can at our work if we accidentally tear the sticker while trying to place it on the specimen), but it still needs to be signed and initialed by the donor. If the collector wanted to though, I think it is possible that he could forge the signature/initials onto a COC sheet with the same COC# on it (if he has the ability to access the sheets). But I think he would have to go into the whole process knowing what he planned on doing. It can't be a spur of the moment thing. And with all the other measures in place under the agreement with the MLBPA, I wouldn't be surprised if collectors are not allowed access to print out extra COC sheets.

Because of my experience (and I have been accused of tampering with a UA myself by someone who had a positive), I am used to hearing stories from people who always claim that they are clean, they have 'no idea' how their UA came back positive, I fully believe that Braun's UA was positive for the synthetic testosterone, and that the collector acted 100% as he should have in all facets of this collection. Braun got off because of vagueness in the rules. When I hear him talk about it, it sounds so much like the stories I hear residents at work, and those who come in to take UAs tell their case managers and probation/parole officers.
   44. shock Posted: February 29, 2012 at 03:36 AM (#4070708)
Also, if it is your job to transport piss, you should do it as fast as you can. He can claim he followed protocol, but there is a time discrepancy, and he's not explaining why it supposedly took so long on Monday to ship out the package.


Dunno, do you always do everything at work 100% as fast as you possibly can all the time? Give me a break.
   45. Tripon Posted: February 29, 2012 at 04:25 AM (#4070713)
If my job requires to meet a deadline, sure. The courier took his time with it and it blew up in his face, that's his fault.
   46. Bhaakon Posted: February 29, 2012 at 05:57 AM (#4070718)
If my job requires to meet a deadline, sure. The courier took his time with it and it blew up in his face, that's his fault.


The game started at 1:07 local time and lasted until 3:51. Considering that there's a time delay between the final pitch and players getting into the locker room, and the general hoopla surrounding a playoff game, the demand for post-game media access for a star like Braun, and the testing procedures involved, I don't think there was ever much of a chance of collecting three players' samples and getting them to a Fed Ex by 5.

   47. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: February 29, 2012 at 06:30 AM (#4070719)
No, the fact that we commonly have drug testing in a manner that doesnt quickly anonymize samples, and allows collectors to hold them for days knowing who was tested, is reprehensible. The tester may have just barely followed his companies protocol,, but the protocol is inherently wrong, easily corrupted, and the nicest thing you can say about the collector is that he was shoddy. But if you chose to be accurate instead of nice you should say he was shockingly lazy and unprofessional to an extremely suspicious degree.


Pretty much agree with all of this. I know I was very surprised to learn this is how MLB testing is being carried out. Did the players know this? I know many people here seem okay with this, merely because this is how it has been done. Which is pretty much the lamest reason to justify any process, "...because that's how we did it yesterday."
   48. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: February 29, 2012 at 06:34 AM (#4070720)
Jock- snifffing to the max. Pathetic.


#42 is right. I'll add that some of us are interested in due process and integrity of the testing authorities. We want cheaters caught, but I think we ALL want even more is accuracy and integrity. NOBODY wants this system to have flaws which could ensnare the occasional ball player, esp a superstar. How does that help the game we love?

It doesn't, it can easily destroy it. Without integrity across the board in this process, there is real risk to the game. It all can unravel quickly.
   49. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: February 29, 2012 at 06:41 AM (#4070722)
#43, interesting stuff. But have you ever experienced fraud once? I'm guessing there is almost zero fraud motive for someone to target the halfway house crowd. Whereas a superstar athlete, well, that's a different animal, lots of things could motivate people to target a famous person. Hell, Reagan was shot by a guy looking to impress Jodie Foster. I'm guessing had he shot one of your halfway house people, Jodie Foster wouldn't have been very impressed.
   50. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: February 29, 2012 at 06:54 AM (#4070723)

Dunno, do you always do everything at work 100% as fast as you possibly can all the time? Give me a break.


No. I turn in expense reports as late as possible. But I call back clients on same day and at the latest within 24 hours. I think his job was more important than a single phone call I make. Some things are more important than others. I think this was pretty much his only job with MLB. Don't see how other tasks came before this. I'd love to see how this guy spent his Monday morning. I'm guessing he does this all the time and has never had a positive test, ever, therefore nobody called him on his lazy ass routine.

As has been well explained on this thread, getting the sample to Fedex, regardless of ship date, is a more secure place than his basement. His statement make a point to hype up ship date. He knows it, we know it, now I want him to acknowledge we know it. Tell us what he did Saturday, Sunday and Monday morning. Did he even make 12pm shipping on Monday or did he miss that too? Seems 44 hours puts the sample at Fedex at 12:45pm.

The Testosterone Braun used is very common and you can get it at WalMart pharm. I'm confident this guy can access this. He could have put a small amount on his hand/finger and simply touched the cup when he opened the bag in front of Braun, or touched the underside of the lid when he sealed it in front of Braun. Or he could have gone through the work to unseal and reseal with a reproduction.

Honestly, read up on the T Braun used. Axiron.

This is the first underarm T approved by the FDA, just over 1 year ago. Read the warnings and how you should handle it. Of all the PEDs, THIS would be the easiest to sneak into the sample cup, just by touching the cup. No need to manufacture fake labels (although that is not difficult either).
   51. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: February 29, 2012 at 06:59 AM (#4070725)
I don't think there was ever much of a chance of collecting three players' samples and getting them to a Fed Ex by 5.


Why is 5pm important? Another sucker buying ship time as the key time. If you want a ship time, the airport was 24 hours. As explained, Fedex is obviously more secure than the guys basement since anonymity is the key. Theft is not the concern, but tampering. Much less likely to face tampering in Fedex's possession than a Cubs fan's basement.
   52. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: February 29, 2012 at 07:16 AM (#4070727)
Inside the collection room, players select an individually wrapped collection cup and are told to wash their hands. Collectors must have a clear view of the player when the sample is produced. The player puts a cap on the bottle after the sample is produced and then selects a sealed collection kit and opens it.

The collector pours the urine from the cup into two sample bottles and snaps the caps on top. The player is asked to verify that the I.D. number on the chain-of-custody form matches the number on the seals. The player is given a statement that verifies his awareness of the process.

The two sealed bottles are put in a plastic bag that is sealed and placed in a specimen box, which is also sealed with a security sticker. The box is placed in a FedEx package for shipment. The player’s name is not on any of the containers.


From the NY Times article, detailing the process and the collector. In bold is an obvious point where the sample is most vulnerable. It would be child's play to taint the sample when the collector handles the sample, urine, cups and even snaps the lid on. Axiron is perfect if this was how you were going to taint sample.

What happened to the report that all three of the Brewers samples taken that day were screwy?
   53. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: February 29, 2012 at 07:21 AM (#4070728)
NYT article on process and collector.

I'm just offering a scenario. I still think it is most likely Braun used T and less likely the sample was fixed by the collector. However I firmly believe this case had too many flaws to be considered acceptable. Short of new info, I'm done posting on it.
   54. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: February 29, 2012 at 07:58 AM (#4070731)
Fed-Ex will keep medical samples in a cool and secure location is well, it's been shipping temperature sensitive packages for a long time.

The difference is that Fed-Ex doesn't know what is in the packages, whether they are drug testing samples, or whether they came from MLB players, or whether they belonged to a Brewer, a Prince, or a Braun. Once Fed-Ex takes the samples they become anonymized, which is hugely important..

There were 20 drop off locations open on his way home, but he wants you to focus on the fact that they would not immediately ship the specimens, despite the fact they would have accepted them.

It was originally reported the collector kept the samples in a refrigerator. Then on his desk. Now he says in a tub in his basement

We also know the collector waited 6 hours to take the samples to Fed-Ex that Monday. Why would anyone want to keep boxes of piss in their house for an un-necessary day and a half instead of just dropping them immediately at the nearest fed-ex? Why would you keep them an extra 6 hours?

We only have the word of the collector that no one entered his house, that the samples were undisturbed. And when the collector has done their job in such a strange and haphazard manner, you have to wonder, especially when samples are so easy to be undetectably tampered with as long as

A) You have them in a private location.
B) You have hours to work on them undisturbed.
and
C) They aren't yet anonymized, so you can be sure you are tampering with the correct sample..

You left out was the part about the grassy knoll near his house.

You and Braun might be playing conspiracy theory with the wrong person. According to the JS article, Laurenzi has a stellar reputation in the community.
   55. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: February 29, 2012 at 08:04 AM (#4070732)
You and Braun might be playing conspiracy theory with the wrong person. According to the JS article, Laurenzi has a stellar reputation in the community.


Braun's rep is just as sterling.
   56. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: February 29, 2012 at 08:13 AM (#4070733)
Braun's rep is just as sterling.

That ship sailed when he opened his trap the other day.
   57. Lassus Posted: February 29, 2012 at 08:14 AM (#4070734)
Jock- snifffing to the max. Pathetic.
#42 is right.

You guys (not exclusively) are like the new Murray Chass, the new Dan Shaughnessy, etc.

Sweeping, moralistic judgments aren't evolving, they are just re-packaged.
   58. Russ Posted: February 29, 2012 at 08:21 AM (#4070735)

Appeals are ugly things. They're inherently about technical details rather than the merits of the case (as the case has already been decided). It's the only way to actually overturn a decision, so Braun should not really be criticized for using every route possible under the only way that he could overturn what he believes (maybe) was a mistaken test.

This is the other problem with random drug testing... no test is 100% sensitive and 100% specific. At some point, by chance, someone is going to get nailed by accident. And it won't be anybody's fault, but this is what happens when you subject people to procedures without probable cause.
   59. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: February 29, 2012 at 08:28 AM (#4070737)
They're inherently about technical details rather than the merits of the case (as the case has already been decided). It's the only way to actually overturn a decision, so Braun should not really be criticized for using every route possible under the only way that he could overturn what he believes (maybe) was a mistaken test.

Braun was already in the clear when he stepped to the mic on Friday. He proceeded to go well beyond simply criticzing the process and casually laid waste to Laurenzi's integrity.
   60. Bruce Markusen Posted: February 29, 2012 at 09:06 AM (#4070743)
Braun offered no specific evidence of tampering against Laurenzi, instead making a general and rather vague accusation. Laurenzi responded with a specific, detailed and well-written explanation of what happened during the process. As public statements go, Laurenzi's was far better articulated than Braun's.
   61. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: February 29, 2012 at 09:12 AM (#4070744)
If my job requires to meet a deadline, sure. The courier took his time with it and it blew up in his face, that's his fault.

he's not explaining why it supposedly took so long on Monday to ship out the package.

We also know the collector waited 6 hours to take the samples to Fed-Ex that Monday. Why would anyone want to keep boxes of piss in their house for an un-necessary day and a half instead of just dropping them immediately at the nearest fed-ex? Why would you keep them an extra 6 hours?


The guy gave a very plausible explanation for all of this.

"Given the lateness of the hour that I completed my collections, there was no FedEx office located within 50 miles of Miller Park that would ship packages that day or Sunday.

Therefore, the earliest that the specimens could be shipped was Monday, October 3. In that circumstance, CDT has instructed collectors since I began in 2005 that they should safeguard the samples in their homes until FedEx is able to immediately ship the sample to the laboratory, rather than having the samples sit for one day or more at a local FedEx office. The protocol has been in place since 2005 when I started with CDT and there have been other occasions when I have had to store samples in my home for at least one day, all without incident."

Now, he may be lying about company protocols, but I doubt it. I'm sure that would be a fireable offense. The key is the bolded part. That also explains why so late on Monday, as Fed Ex doesn't ship out until the afternoon. Bear in mind that this guy doesn't work for MLB. He works for the testing company, and this is required to follow their rules. All this heat and noise about how many Fed Ex installations were open is irrelevant, as his company requires him to hold the package until Fed Ex is available to ship.
   62. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 29, 2012 at 09:31 AM (#4070752)
According to the JS article, Laurenzi has a stellar reputation in the community.


It's not an issue of personal integrity, it's an issue of integrity of the process.
   63. Fat Al Posted: February 29, 2012 at 09:45 AM (#4070757)
The story here is that he's hired an $800 an hour white collar lawyer at WilmerHale (presumably paid for by MLB under a defense/indemnity agreement with the testing company) who also just happens to be the former Deputy US Attorney for the Southern District of New York (and an AUSA there for almost 15 years).

Now, why would a guy in Wisconsin hire a criminal lawyer with huge connections in the SDNY USAO?

I have a feeling this isn't the end of the story.


Braun made a pretty explicit threat to sue the guy, or someone, in his press conference. The tester/courier lawyering up and going on the offensive seems like a perfectly reasonable strategy -- Braun saying he was going to sue, on the other hand, seemed incredibly stupid.
   64. LargeBill Posted: February 29, 2012 at 10:03 AM (#4070764)
The lesson for others who find themselves in similar situations is keep it simple. Braun just got good news the day before. His statement should have stayed positive. Some BS about I knew I'd be vindicated, I never used PED's, and I'm ready to get going towards a successful Brewer's season. If the jury (in this case arbitrator) just found you not guilty there is no need to say I learned things about the arresting officer as Braun did in his comments about the collector. It doesn't matter if Braun's lawyers or their investigators dug up info that the collector cheats on his taxes or he wears women's underwear. The story was dying in short order except for him impugning the integrity of the collector.
   65. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: February 29, 2012 at 10:13 AM (#4070770)
Yes, the shipping time is both explained (FedEx wasn't going to ship), excused (guy followed his company's protocol), beyond what MLB wants (arbitrator's ruling), and less safe (samples in possession of collector instead of anonymous).

These are all true. Nobody did anything out of the ordinary here. But that doesn't mean that the collector didn't have plenty of time to do something, if he so desired. He probably didn't though.
   66. Barnaby Jones Posted: February 29, 2012 at 10:23 AM (#4070774)
Braun offered no specific evidence of tampering against Laurenzi, instead making a general and rather vague accusation. Laurenzi responded with a specific, detailed and well-written explanation of what happened during the process. As public statements go, Laurenzi's was far better articulated than Braun's.


Were we watching the same press conference? He made a very vague reference about "there were things we learned about the process, the collector, etc.," which he pretty much had to say for his "something went wrong" defense. When asked specifically about the collector, he refused to make any claims, saying he didn't want to falsely accuse anyone of something, seeing as that was what had just happened to him. I thought he handled it very well.
   67. Barnaby Jones Posted: February 29, 2012 at 10:28 AM (#4070775)
The story was dying in short order except for him impugning the integrity of the collector.


Yeah, no one would even be talking about this if he hadn't mentioned the collector. I'd already forgotten the whole thing halfway through the speech.

Before the press conference, the consensus was that he had to give SOME explanation of some sort, and this was his only chance to do. So he went with "we learned things about the process, the collector, etc. and thus something went wrong." If he had just walked up and given banal platitudes and no details, people would have been very dissatisfied and his reputation would have been fully irreparable.
   68. Ray (RDP) Posted: February 29, 2012 at 10:52 AM (#4070788)
Now, he may be lying about company protocols, but I doubt it.


I really doubt it. Surely his statement was prepared with the help of attorney/s who familiarized themselves with the company protocol.

If there's a provable falsehood in that statement, I'd be shocked.

   69. Ray (RDP) Posted: February 29, 2012 at 10:54 AM (#4070791)
Before the press conference, the consensus was that he had to give SOME explanation of some sort, and this was his only chance to do. So he went with "we learned things about the process, the collector, etc. and thus something went wrong."


I haven't seen/read his remarks, but "we've learned things about the collector" sounds for all the world like "we learned things about how the collector handled the sample," not "we've learned that the collector is Evil."
   70. Metman died today. Or yesterday maybe, Posted: February 29, 2012 at 11:01 AM (#4070795)

Braun made a pretty explicit threat to sue the guy, or someone, in his press conference. The tester/courier lawyering up and going on the offensive seems like a perfectly reasonable strategy -- Braun saying he was going to sue, on the other hand, seemed incredibly stupid.


If Laurenzi was afraid of a civil lawsuit by Braun that would be filed in Wisconsin, he wouldn't hire the lawyer he hired.
   71. Ron J Posted: February 29, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4070799)
#24 Seems to me that there's a huge difference between storing something in a secure storage area and at the guy's home.

If it matters, I've actually worked at a secure evidence storage area (Bureau of Dangerous Drugs -- where evidence for Federal drug trials is stored) and while I wouldn't say there's no chance of tampering with anything there, it'd take a very well organized conspiracy (people who can open the safe where the evidence is stored can't get access to the room where the safe is without being let in. And the people who control access to the room don't work for or report to the people who can open the safe). And I'd bet that the basics aren't too different between what FedEx does for secure storage and what was done where I worked.

One big difference though was that conceptually we never closed. There was somebody with access to the secure area on call in silent hours and instructions for what to do in the event that they were needed. (And I actually had to use those instructions once)

Reading further, I see that FedEx doesn't seem to have a secure storage setup -- or at least nothing widely available. That really surprises me in that it's not that tough to set something up. Nor is it particularly expensive.

   72. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 29, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4070800)
I haven't seen/read his remarks, but "we've learned things about the collector" sounds for all the world like "we learned things about how the collector handled the sample," not "we've learned that the collector is Evil."

Wouldn't the way the collector handled the sample be encompassed by what was (allegedly) learned about the "process"? If so, what's left to learn about the "collector"? I believe Braun distinguished the two.

If Laurenzi was afraid of a civil lawsuit by Braun that would be filed in Wisconsin, he wouldn't hire the lawyer he hired.

Sure you would; the guy's capable of handling civil litigation -- look at his website. Moreover, Laurenzi may be looking to go on offense in litigation, not just play defense. After all, he was slandered -- though probably not legally slandered. The odds of litigation, from either side, are low based on the current record.


   73. bunyon Posted: February 29, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4070805)
Braun just got good news the day before.

Nonsense. Braun is, as many comments here show, forevermore going to be known as a cheater. He won't lose money or games this season but the damage is done. If he's innocent, the system fuc ked him good and I don't blame him for being angry.


Also, if Braun slandered the collector then what is it journalists have been doing to players for the last 10 years? I don't think the collector broke any rules or is a bad guy. But I certainly don't know taht. There is at least as much evidence of this guy tampering with the sample as many of the players accused of PED use.
   74. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 29, 2012 at 11:22 AM (#4070812)
There is at least as much evidence of this guy tampering with the sample as many of the players accused of PED use.

There's no evidence of him tampering with the sample. What players have been accused by journalists of PED use with no evidence? Even in Chass-Piazza, Chass claims to be an eyewitness to bacne changes -- that's evidence.
   75. JJ1986 Posted: February 29, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4070818)
Even in Chass-Piazza, Chass claims to be an eyewitness to bacne changes -- that's evidence.


Haha.
   76. Kiko Sakata Posted: February 29, 2012 at 11:32 AM (#4070830)
There's no evidence of him tampering with the sample. What players have been accused by journalists of PED use with no evidence?


Is hitting a lot of home runs considered "evidence"? What about looking "ripped"? I'd say Jeff Bagwell, Sammy Sosa, and Brady Anderson have been accused by journalists based on no more than that.
   77. LargeBill Posted: February 29, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4070840)
73. bunyon Posted: February 29, 2012 at 10:15 AM (#4070805)
Braun just got good news the day before.

Nonsense. Braun is, as many comments here show, forevermore going to be known as a cheater. He won't lose money or games this season but the damage is done. If he's innocent, the system fuc ked him good and I don't blame him for being angry.


Not being suspended without pay for 50 days is still good news whether you want to call it nonsense or not. It is worth more than a million dollars of good news. As far as his reputation, right or wrong it is like anyone charged and not convicted. People will have their opinion and you can't do anything about that. Nothing he could have said in his statement would completely convince those who believe he used so nothing was to be gained by impugning the collector by saying we learned things about him. His goal should have been to reassert his innocence and get away from the podium without saying anything that could give legs to the story. Soon other things will happen (games, injuries, DUI's, etc) that will knock his story to the back burner and for him that is a good thing.
   78. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 29, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4070846)

I have to say, I thought this was an Onion headline.
   79. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 29, 2012 at 11:42 AM (#4070852)
I'd say Jeff Bagwell, Sammy Sosa, and Brady Anderson have been accused by journalists based on no more than that.

Accused how? What journalist at any serious pubilication has stated that Brady Anderson used PEDs?

Is hitting a lot of home runs considered "evidence"? What about looking "ripped"?

Before and after comparisons can be. Devil's in the details.
   80. Kiko Sakata Posted: February 29, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4070865)
Accused how? What journalist at any serious pubilication has stated that [Jeff Bagwell and Nomar Garciaparra] used PEDs?


I'm pretty sure that Bryant Gumbel would consider himself a "serious journalist" (you can be a "journalist" without working for a "publication").
   81. SouthSideRyan Posted: February 29, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4070867)
I'm really confused what you're implying here Meat.
   82. SouthSideRyan Posted: February 29, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4070876)
Also, if Braun slandered the collector then what is it journalists have been doing to players for the last 10 years? I don't think the collector broke any rules or is a bad guy. But I certainly don't know taht. There is at least as much evidence of this guy tampering with the sample as many of the players accused of PED use.


Braun and other professional athletes are public figures. Just by way of association there is more evidence of any athlete using PEDs vs this guy tampering with the sample(No reported stories ever as far as I know, and literally no evidence of him tampering with it)
   83. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 29, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4070880)
I'm pretty sure that Bryant Gumbel would consider himself a "serious journalist" (you can be a "journalist" without working for a "publication").

He didn't accuse them of PED use, at least not in the linked story. He accused them of power surges and/or outages.

There's a big difference between opining with eyes open, and accusing.

   84. Morty Causa Posted: February 29, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4070881)
People keep saying it isn't a criminal case and that criminal law and procedure doesn't apply, but then continue arguing as if it is and as if it does.

43 has it right. The guy followed his company's procedure. The question then becomes: Is that contrary to MLB rules? If not, then the only out for Braun would be if medical science says holding it that long before testing would allow the specimen to deteriorate. But that wasn't the issue before the arbitrators, was it?

We'll see what the arbitrators' Reasons for Judgment has to say. Maybe there'll even be a dissent. Did I say it wasn't like a criminal court case?
   85. JJ1986 Posted: February 29, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4070886)
He didn't accuse them of PED use, at least not in the linked story. He accused them of power surges and/or outages.


What about Sosa? He's been implied to be a user thousands of times, many of them by serious journalists.
   86. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: February 29, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4070901)
The story was dying in short order except for him impugning the integrity of the collector.


Nobody believes this. You and others are using this as cover for the feeding frenzy.
   87. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: February 29, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4070909)


I really doubt it. Surely his statement was prepared with the help of attorney/s who familiarized themselves with the company protocol.


"company protocols" are defined by the contract between MLB and MLBPA, not the company. Turns out something about the chain of custody process didn't line up with the agreed contract. Or MLB and the MLBPA had a contract that was exposed to be broken. Reading the contract, it seems a person such as an independent arbitrator could interpret the Braun COC to be inconsistent with the contract.

It's seem there is a wide berth in the area of shipping and possession of sample. Braun and the arbitrator views came down on one side of the berth and the collector and MLB came down far on the other side.

The policy of the company needs to match exactly the contract. Personally I do not see how they are going to be able to overcome Saturday night testing issues. Sunday shipping doesn't really happen in all 28-30 MLB markets.
   88. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: February 29, 2012 at 12:21 PM (#4070912)
If Laurenzi was afraid of a civil lawsuit by Braun that would be filed in Wisconsin, he wouldn't hire the lawyer he hired.


Not sure if this is given. I'd like to hear a contract lawyer's opinion. It's possible you can purse a lawsuit in a venue different from the site where the sample was taken and stored. Although I agree that venue is likely Wisconsin.
   89. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 29, 2012 at 12:21 PM (#4070914)
There is at least as much evidence of this guy tampering with the sample as many of the players accused of PED use.


Wait, was that a good thing now? I thought the careless, evidence-free PED accusations against ballplayers was something we frowned upon?

   90. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: February 29, 2012 at 12:27 PM (#4070920)
The eyeball test has been used by journalists to indict dozens of athletes. Just look at the collector, he is over 50 and his arm veins are bulging. He is probably using T.
   91. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 29, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4070930)
The eyeball test has been used by journalists to indict dozens of athletes.

You're imagining things again.

And journalists and other commentators have no obligation to close or avert their eyes to the world around them. Athletes use PEDs, heartbreaking as that appears to be for some.
   92. bunyon Posted: February 29, 2012 at 12:57 PM (#4070944)
There is at least as much evidence of this guy tampering with the sample as many of the players accused of PED use.



Wait, was that a good thing now? I thought the careless, evidence-free PED accusations against ballplayers was something we frowned upon?


It was. And is. As was Braun's statement. But if you are going to go crazy about Braun's statement, you should be going crazy about a great deal in the PED-wars.

Personally, I think Braun is likely a user. But there is no proof. If you want a rigorous testing program, as we were all told we must have, then rules count. If you just want to speculate, based on innuendo and the "eyeball" test, then, fine, but stop spending money on testing (i.e. put Laurenzi out of work) and lets just see if they float.

Braun should have refused to make any statement. But it isn't as if all is roses in his life at the moment. It's too bad he didn't have a handler (lawyer/PR flack/etc.) stop him from making a statement we'd all feel like making.
   93. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: February 29, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4070949)
Personally, I think Braun is likely a user. But there is no proof.

That's an interesting definition of 'no' you are using.
   94. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 29, 2012 at 01:11 PM (#4070955)
It was. And is. As was Braun's statement. But if you are going to go crazy about Braun's statement, you should be going crazy about a great deal in the PED-wars.


I thought we were.

Sorry, but your comment on Braun strikes me as just another way of saying, "Hey, we've rechecked the math, and it turns out that two wrongs do in fact make a right."

Claiming a guy used PEDs because he hit a lot of homers or suffered bacne or bulked up is undeniably wrong. That it happens is not an excuse for Braun to make reckless accusations against this collector.

   95. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 29, 2012 at 01:24 PM (#4070967)
What evidence was there against Canseco when the Fenway fans yelled "STEROIDS" at him in the '88 plsyoffs? Were journalists justified in reporting the yells and discussing the issue? Or were they required to stay entirely silent on the matter?
   96. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 29, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4070992)
Also, if Braun slandered the collector then what is it journalists have been doing to players for the last 10 years? I don't think the collector broke any rules or is a bad guy. But I certainly don't know taht. There is at least as much evidence of this guy tampering with the sample as many of the players accused of PED use.

I find it odd that anyone would sympathize with Braun over the collector.

Braun probably cheated, and is making tens of millions of dollars in exchange for accepting public scrutiny. Laurenzi is a poor working guy who followed his company's rules, yet is being accused of tampering left and right.

I think it is a sick kind of fanboyism that sees Braun as the more aggrieved party.
   97. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 29, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4070999)
I think it is a sick kind of fanboyism that sees Braun as the more aggrieved party.

Indeed. By workings of the psyche beyond my immediate ability to adequately describe, it's actually the fanboy himself who's ultimately most aggrieved; the athlete/celebrity is merely the derivative transmission mechanism.

If you prick Ryan Braun, the fanboy bleeds; if you tickle Ryan Braun, the fanboy laughs.(*)

(*) And if Ryan Braun doth not carry the STD medication sword into battle, the fanboy shall carry it for him.
   98. DA Baracus Posted: February 29, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4071027)
43 has it right. The guy followed his company's procedure.


Not trying to be argumentative for the sake of being argumentative: do we know that his company's SOP is the same as what the MLB agreement is? I'm guessing we don't. It's possible that the MLB agreement has a different procedure and that this guy and his superior either forgot or were unaware of it. It's also possible that the people who came up with this agreement never thought of this type of situation.
   99. SouthSideRyan Posted: February 29, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4071048)
[23] linked the full program.

Other relevant excerpts.

I. If the player is unable to provide a valid urine specimen, the player is permitted to
go about his regular pre-game or game activities; however, during this time the
player is to be monitored by the Chaperone until the player is able to provide a
valid specimen. Monitoring is at a level of contact sufficient to ensure that the
player does not undertake any activity which would undermine the integrity of the
drug testing process.


Tells me Braun told him he couldn't get anything out before the game. The language discusses taking test 2-4 hours before a game, so that could explain why a 5 PM shipping deadline wouldn't come up often, even for night games.

7. The Collector shall check the “FedEx” box in the section entitled
“Specimen Bottles(s) Released to:” Absent unusual circumstances, the
specimens should be sent by FedEx to the Laboratory on the same day
they are collected.


Emphasis mine. No language about bringing the sample to FedEx, only that it should be sent out by FedEx the same day.

F. When all of the specimens have been collected at the collection site, the
Collector shall take the specimens in the appropriate packaging to a FedEx
Customer Service Center for shipment.
The specimens cannot be placed in a
FedEx Drop Box location.


Emphasis mine. It's subtle, but adding the words "for shipment" seems to reiterate what is said in 7. Whereas if it said, "shall take the specimens in the appropriate packaging to a FedEx Customer Service Center" then it needs to be taken there immediately.

XII. IMPORTANT ITEMS TO REMEMBER
A. If a player wants to know which drugs are being tested for or has other
questions about the Program, he should be referred to the IPA at 336-882-4064.

B. The Collector should not leave specimens in a car. This will affect the
laboratory’s ability to analyze the specimen.

C. The Collector should not leave kits, refractometer or dipsticks in his car. The
heat/cold can adversely affect the equipment


Emphasis mine. This is the only language in the agreement referring to where the collector should not leave the specimens and testing materials. Seems to imply that it's understood at times the collector will need to store the specimens somewhere beyond a FedEx location.
   100. Ron J Posted: February 29, 2012 at 03:10 PM (#4071079)
#96 I'll go as far as "probably violated the league's drug policy"

I don't see it as cheating to have done so in good faith -- in precisely the same way I don't see J. C. Romero as having cheated. Intent matters when invoking the C word (at least to my mind).

Thing is that "good faith positive" isn't a viable argument for Braun any more than it was for Romero. Or somebody who tests positive for some powerful cold medicine (not performance enhancing -- indeed probably a performance inhibitor)

This of course assumes that he was doing something that he could (should) have gotten a TUE for. Obviously not a given, but ... plausible given the available information.
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