Baseball's silly drug-testing policy

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Anaxagoras
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Baseball's silly drug-testing policy

Post by Anaxagoras » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:46 am

MLB has made a mockery of its own drug testing policy by allowing Ryan Braun to get away with a positive drug test.

I don't blame him, I blame the panel members who decided against all logic and science that somehow magically Braun's sealed sample became contaminated with testosterone over a weekend sitting in a refrigerator.

A Flawed Policy For Drug Testing
In a 2-1 vote, a baseball panel ruled that there were legitimate questions about how Braun’s urine sample was handled by a collector. In truth, no real doubts appear to exist about tampering and the chain of custody.

Braun’s sample was collected at the ballpark after the Milwaukee Brewers’ first game of the 2011 postseason. The drug tester said that because no nearby FedEx center was open, he took the sample home and stored it in his basement for the weekend. This was not a violation of protocol but rather the preferred approach, according to Travis T. Tygart, the chief executive of the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

Any baseball player should prefer to have his sample in the custody of a trained professional — one agreed to by his union — than to have it sitting abandoned in some FedEx facility over the weekend, Tygart said. That way, the urine collector can be cross-examined about the chain of custody: What was the temperature of the basement? Did anyone else come into contact with the sample?

Lawyers for Major League Baseball argued there was no evidence that Braun’s sealed sample was tampered with before it reached a Montreal laboratory. And Braun apparently did not prove tampering had occurred. Nor, apparently, did he argue that the sample did not belong to him. Braun also did not challenge the science behind the positive test, Tygart said.

Could the sample have degraded over the 48 hours in question to produce a false positive? “To say it degraded and created synthetic testosterone is contrary to logic and science,” Tygart said.

He added: “For synthetic testosterone to be in the urine, it had to come out of the body into the collection cup. Nothing voided would cause synthetic testosterone to magically appear in a urine sample. They never tried to argue that at all.”
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Re: Baseball's silly drug-testing policy

Post by Rob Lister » Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:42 pm

They never tried to argue that at all.”
They only need one winning argument.

If logic and reason are not on your side, a technicality will do. :)

I think they should mandate the use of 'enhancement' drugs. Or at the very least highly encourage them.

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Re: Baseball's silly drug-testing policy

Post by Doctor X » Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:02 am

According to reports by Will Carroll, Braun's lawyers were able to recreate the results with his urine--producing high testosterone levels--by leaving it about as it was in the original collection. I do not get how that can happen, nor have I seen an explanation as to why it happened.

MLB fucked up. Be that as it may, while Braun gave a spectacular performance in his interview, he will always be questioned. That is rather the point: MLB should not have relied on such a shoddy low-rent manner of handling samples. This was a criticism Curt Schilling raised years ago given that being accused of testing positive is similar to being accused of rape--you are guilty until you can prove you are innocent. Further, the results should have not been leaked prior to the findings of arbitration.

Yet they were.

I know why they were--the MVP of the NL . . . it is a story--but they should not have been.

Understand, I am rather against steroids in MLB and firmly believe cheaters such as A-Fraud McSlappy--who was using for a long time--Barry B*nds, Roger "FUT" Clemens, and Mark "I'm Not Here to Discuss the Past" McGuire should be stripped of their records, stats, and any HofF consideration reflect that. I do not "buy" the arguments from the Luddites that "you can never know" and that crap.

The Olympics do it all the time. Perhaps some *cough . . . cough . . . East German Womens . . . cough . . . cough* athletes "got away" with something. They will still strip a Marion Jones and That Canadian Guy.

However, the system has to be fair. I suspect Braun is guilty. I do not know it yet, and MLB has to know it has to perform the testing to remove such doubt.

If I find anything more tangible regarding the supposed recreation of the positive test. Will Carroll appeared on WEEI to discuss it but I have not found anything he has published, say on SI.com.

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Re: Baseball's silly drug-testing policy

Post by Anaxagoras » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:16 am

Doctor X wrote:According to reports by Will Carroll, Braun's lawyers were able to recreate the results with his urine--producing high testosterone levels--by leaving it about as it was in the original collection. I do not get how that can happen, nor have I seen an explanation as to why it happened.
Interesting. The only thing I can think of is if some of the water evaporated away, leaving a higher concentration of testosterone, but that seems unlikely if it's a sealed airtight container.
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Re: Baseball's silly drug-testing policy

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:56 pm

Major League Baseball is an inherently corrupt institution.

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Re: Baseball's silly drug-testing policy

Post by Doctor X » Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:24 pm

Anaxagoras wrote:
Doctor X wrote:According to reports by Will Carroll, Braun's lawyers were able to recreate the results with his urine--producing high testosterone levels--by leaving it about as it was in the original collection. I do not get how that can happen, nor have I seen an explanation as to why it happened.
Interesting. The only thing I can think of is if some of the water evaporated away, leaving a higher concentration of testosterone, but that seems unlikely if it's a sealed airtight container.
Particularly if, indeed, it was synthetic testosterone. I have yet to find any independent confirmation of Carroll's report.

The containers are sealed in the presence of the tested. If the seal was violated, that would have been easy to overturn. The bottom line is that other than this claim from Carroll, there is no evidence that such can happen. It appears Braun got off on a curious technicality. He and his lawyers implied a "mix up" of the urine. Apparently he offered to take a DNA test to prove the urine was not his but this offer was withdrawn. Understandable from a lawyer's standpoint: why bother giving the opposition a chance to prove you wrong when you know you can smack them on procedure.

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