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Baseball MVP Ryan Braun wins appeal

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NEW YORK (JTA) — Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun won his appeal of his earlier positive test for performance-enhancing drugs.

The decision, announced Thursday, means that Braun — the reigning National League Most Valuable Player and the first Jewish player to earn that distinction in nearly five decades — will avoid a 50-game suspension.

Braun’s suspension was overturned by an an arbitrator in what is believed to be the first time a baseball player has successfully challenged a drug-related grievance. The decision reportedly resulted from a delay in transporting Braun’s urine sample to a testing facility.

In December, it was reported that Braun, the son of an Israeli-born father and Catholic mother, had tested positive for elevated testosterone levels. Braun denied using performance-enhacing drugs.

"I am very pleased and relieved by today’s decision," Braun said in a statement reported by news agencies. "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."

Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball’s vice president for labor relations, said his organization "vehemently disagrees with the decision."

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