(NEW YORK) — Milwaukee Brewers outfielder and reigning National League MVP Ryan Braun had his 50-game drug-related suspension overturned by baseball arbitrator Shym Das on Thursday. It is the first time a baseball player has had a drug-related suspension overturned.
Major League Baseball Executive Vice President for Labor Relations Rob Manfred issued the following statement Thursday:
“Major League Baseball considers the obligations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program essential to the integrity of our game, our Clubs and all of the players who take the field. It has always been Major League Baseball’s position that no matter who tests positive, we will exhaust all avenues in pursuit of the appropriate discipline. We have been true to that position in every instance, because baseball fans deserve nothing less.
“As a part of our drug testing program, the Commissioner’s Office and the Players Association agreed to a neutral third party review for instances that are under dispute. While we have always respected that process, Major League Baseball vehemently disagrees with the decision rendered today by arbitrator Shyam Das.”
Last October, Braun tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone.
The players’ association released a statement that said, “Today the arbitration panel announced its decision, by a 2-1 vote, to sustain Ryan Braun’s grievance challenging his 50-game suspension by the commissioners office.”
Braun is expected at the Brewers’ spring training camp Friday.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire
Jill Martin, CNN