Braun says he's innocent
The MVP slugger claims "unusual circumstances" surround his drug test.
MILWAUKEE - Ryan Braun certainly doesn't fit the image fans conjure up when they hear that a baseball slugger has been accused of using performance-enhancing drugs.
Since he joined the Milwaukee Brewers in 2007, Braun has belted big home runs not with cartoonishly large muscles, but with a sweet swing and an ultra-quick bat. Last season, he helped drive the Brewers to the playoffs and was voted the NL's most valuable player.
Now Braun finds himself fighting a 50-game suspension after news leaked that he has tested positive for a banned substance. He steadfastly maintains his innocence.
A spokesman for Braun said in a statement issued to ESPN and the Associated Press that there are "highly unusual circumstances surrounding this case which will support Ryan's complete innocence."
ESPN cited two sources Saturday in first reporting the result, saying Braun tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone, adding that a later test by the World Anti-Doping Agency lab in Montreal determined the testosterone was synthetic. Braun is appealing, according to sources familiar with the case.
Sports-medicine experts acknowledge the drugs may help recovery from injuries, raising the possibility Braun might have been doing just that.
Braun did not respond to the AP's request for comment.
"We are dealing with an incomplete set of facts and speculation," Brewers chairman and principal owner Mark Attanasio said in a statement. "Before there is a rush to judgment, Ryan deserves the right to be heard. We are committed to supporting Ryan to get to the truth of what happened in this unfortunate situation."