|Ryan Braun in a happy moment|
I regarded the leak itself as odd enough to be suspicious, raising the possibility that someone involved in the testing realized the result may be flawed and decided to muddy the waters by making it difficult for the appeals panel to toss out the result.
Braun had his appeal hearing last month. Normally there's a 25-day window for the panel to rule; in this case, it's been more than a month.
Maybe it's an innocent delay. Maybe, since there are no games, and Braun isn't even required to be in camp until Friday, the panel has seen no urgency in issuing its ruling. I would think, however, that if it were a cut-and-dried result, there'd be no cause to drag it out. Issue the suspension and get on with life.
Or maybe Braun has a legitimate case, and the panel is trying to find a way to exonerate an innocent man without damaging the credibility of the testing process. If that is the case, of course, the damage will have been done not by the appeals panel but by the leaker of a faulty result.