National League MVP Ryan Braun’s 50-game suspension was overturned Thursday by baseball arbitrator Shyam Das, the first time a baseball player successfully challenged a drug-related penalty in a grievance.
The decision was announced Thursday by the Major League Baseball Players Association, one day before the 28-year-old outfielder was due to report to spring training with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Braun tested positive in October for elevated testosterone, and ESPN revealed the positive test in December.
“I am very pleased and relieved by today’s decision,” Braun said in a statement. “It is the first step in restoring my good name and reputation. We were able to get through this because I am innocent and the truth is on our side.”
MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred said management “vehemently disagrees” with Das’ decision.
Travis Tygart, chief executive officer of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, called the decision “a real gut-kick to clean athletes.”
TORRE STEPS ASIDE: Joe Torre and real estate developer Rick Caruso have bowed out of their joint bid to purchase the Los Angeles Dodgers, The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.
The Times, citing sources close to the sale process, reported that Caruso could jump back into the bidding for the Dodgers if McCourt were to agree to sell the parking lots.
CARTER’S SERVICE: The memorial service for family and friends Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter will be streamed live on the Internet.
The service, to be held in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., tonight, can be watched on the Christ Fellowship Church’s Web site at http://live.goChristFellowship.com.
Carter died a week ago at 57.
OSWALT’S RETURN: The agent for Roy Oswalt says the right-hander is still evaluating his options and plans on pitching in the major leagues this season. Oswalt became a free agent when Philadelphia chose not to pick up his $16 million option for this season.