Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug and faces a 50-game suspension at the beginning of the 2012 season, according to ESPN's "Outside The Lines."
Per the report, Braun was notified of the positive test about a month before he was named the National League's most valuable player.
The 28-year-old is disputing the test and has claimed that he has never knowingly taken any banned substances. A representative for Braun released a statement on Saturday:
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. 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
Based on the ESPN report, it would seem the "unusual circumstances" that Braun's statement refer to relate to a second test shortly after he was informed of the initial failure. As Jeff Sullivan of SBNation points out, though, the key is the time lapse between the pair of tests.
According to the ESPN report, Braun's failure of the PED test was triggered by an elevated level of testosterone. In 2009, Manny Ramirez failed a urine test due to an elevated testosterone level.
Jon Heyman of MLB Network tweeted that Major League Baseball has no announcement on the matter planned.
The four-time All-Star batted .332 and hit 33 home runs, leading the Brewers to their first division title since 1982.
UPDATE: Braun responded to the report in a text message sent to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Tom Haudricourt.
"This is all B.S. I am completely innocent."
WATCH VIDEO AT THE TOP (Video via ESPN "Outside The Lines")