The path to the NL Central title for the Cubs may have just gotten a little easier.
YokalSports.com first reported on their Twitter account that reigning NL MVP Ryan Braun has tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Braun faces a possible 50-game suspension, but he will dispute the positive test through arbitration.
After news of the positive test broke on Saturday, a spokesman for Braun issued this statement:
"There are highly unusual circumstances surrounding this case which will support Ryan's complete innocence and demonstrate there was absolutely no intentional violation of the program."
The spokesman went on to praise Braun's character and try to push any doubt aside that Braun is indeed innocent.
"While Ryan has impeccable character and no previous history, unfortunately, because of the process we have to maintain confidentiality and are not able to discuss it any further, but we are confident he will ultimately be exonerated."
According to Tyler Barnes, a spokesman for the Brewers, the commissioners office had yet to contact the team and Milwaukee didn't know anything about the positive test. ESPN's Fainaru-Wada and T.J. Quinn claim Braun told people close to him that he had no knowledge of taking PED's and the arbitration will prove he's innocent.
After signing a five-year contract extension for 105 million, Braun had the best season of his career. He hit .332 with 33 home runs, 111 RBI and recorded 33 stolen bases and led the Brewers to their first division title since 1982. Milwaukee was within two games of the NL Pennant when they were eliminated in the NLCS, 4-2 by the World Series Champion, St. Louis Cardinals.