When Ryan Braun first tested positive for using performance-enhancing drugs in 2011, he contacted other players and tried to gain their support by painting the test collector as an anti-Semitic, Cubs fan, according to sources for Buster Olney of ESPN.com.
Braun contacted veteran players on the Brewers and other teams in the days before his appeal was ruled on by an arbitrator according to the report. During those conversations Braun allegedly told the players that he had been told that the test collector was both a Cubs fan and anti-Semitic, suggesting he may have been out to get Braun, who is Jewish and plays for the Cubs’ rival, the Brewers.
After winning his appeal, Braun held a press conference in which he hinted that the collector may have tampered with the test…
“There were a lot of things that we learned about the collector, about the collection process, about the way that the entire thing worked that made us very concerned and very suspicious about what could have actually happened.”
One of the players Braun contacted was Matt Kemp according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports. After Braun was suspended this season, Kemp came out and said Braun should lose his 2011 MVP award, noting that he had considered Braun a friend and that “a lot of people have felt betrayed.” Kemp finished second that season in the MVP voting.
If these allegations are true, it is hard to understand why Braun, who failed a test and went to more troubling lengths to cover-up his PED usage, only received a 65-game suspension while Alex Rodriguez is facing a 211-game ban.