Ryan Braun rumors are swirling; failed test could be linked to Herpes


Ryan Braun sure doesn’t feel this big. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

What a nightmare Ryan Braun’s life has become. It’s unbelievable what has happened recently to him and baseball. What do we make of it? Why isn’t his camp saying anything? And the latest rumor swirling is Braun failed the test due to medication his doctor prescribed for Herpes.

If that’s the first time you’ve heard the news, take a deep breath. Try not to laugh. It’s serious business.

Braun apparently failed the test during the playoffs last year and was notified a month before he was announced the MVP of the National League. His camp immediately appealed, which, by the rules, states the information shouldn’t be released until the case is resolved. No one has ever successfully appealed a failed performance enhancing test before in baseball. People were calling for him to come out and admit it.

ESPN’s “Outside The Lines” first reported and ran the story. The story also talks about how when Ryan first failed the test, he immediately requested a new test. His camp did the test and he passed it. ESPN was reporting that Braun was trying to use the second passed test to say that the first failed one was invalid.

Braun is now famous for his words when Alex Rodriguez had his steroid dilemma. He said things like “I would never take steroids,” praised by the commissioner, and then also said this:

“The best thing he can do is come out, admit to everything and be completely honest,” Braun said. “The situation will die a lot faster if he tells the whole truth.”

Ah. How those words seem appropriate now.

But that’s not what this is about, it’s about Braun’s new rumor. Apparently, he allegedly failed the test due to medication. Usually a steroid is given for those type of things. One site, TerezOwens.com, claim they talked to a Brewers official:

I have more inside information on the Ryan Braun ‘herpes rumor’ situation. I heard this yesterday from two guys who both work for the Brewers. According to them, “Braun will be let off because he tested positive for Herpes and the medication given to him by his doctor (legal to fight this) is what caused the spike. Braun and his lawyers plan to go after whoever leaked the story because of HIPAA laws. That is why Braun has not made a statement and that is also why in Mark’s statement he referenced it being a “personal issue.”

It sounds as if the truth might come out soon. The only problem I see with this now coming out is two things:

  • If this is, indeed, what made him fail the test, then why is it taking this long to verify it? Braun’s camp knows what drug it is. I believe there are scientists in this world who could give the results in days, if not hours.
  • The second problem I have is Braun didn’t say anything to the doctors or officials before the test. Anyone who has taken a drug test in the past knows the first question they ask you is to disclose any medication that might change or effect the outcome of the test. If you do not say anything, and you fail, it’s still a failed test.

He will always have the failed test on his record, but perhaps he can rid the “steroids” tag from his name and start playing from day one of the season next year. The Brewers need him. Baseball needs him.

It’s a sad offseason for Braun. He will have to deal with this throughout the season. Fans will heckle him about it, opponents will use it to possibly get in his head, media will roll with it. First it’s steroids, now it’s Herpes. Which is it? The longer this takes to play out, the worse it will be. More and more rumors will come out that may not be true. For the sake of his reputation, and baseball, I encourage Ryan to follow his own advice:

The best thing he can do is come out, admit to everything and be completely honest. The situation will die a lot faster if he tells the whole truth.


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  4. Andy…your an idiot..obviously the MLB investigated it and oh look, your wrong. Appeal granted. First in history mind you. Andy’s just another dude talkin on here but has no idea what he’s talkin about.

  5. Do people understand doping tests before they invent stories like this? Even if acyclovir, the standard medicine for herpes, caused a spike in T/E levels (and there is no evidence that it does), that is only the screening test. The athlete then has to test positive for synthetic testosterone, which Braun did. There is no medicine that can cause synthetic testosterone to appear suddenly in the body. If you don’t understand why this is so, you shouldn’t be writing about these issues.

  6. Money talks ,a lot lesser athlete financially would never had a chance to raise all this crock.

  7. Shut up Tristan! The reason Braun failed the test is because of elevated testosterone levels in his blood, not because he put aloe vera on his weiner. He shouldn’t have to ask permission to to take care of his junk. Also who is losing millions of dollars?…..its not Braun, its the Brewers and MLB.  Braun gets paid either way.

  8. If you don’t already know this, Milwaukee fans have a really great reputation as sports fans, and as people. Now, if Ryan comes here to NY, I’m sure the creatures are going to have a Her-pes chant waiting…

  9. I believe they do get tested. He was tested because his team made the playoffs last year. Every team in the playoffs, if I’m right, the players on each one of those teams get tested. He was tested all through the minor leagues as well. 

  10. While his example is comparing apples to oranges, you shouldn’t question anyone’s intelligence given your comment about topical steroids only being given to people with testosterone deficiencies. Talk about pot calling the kettle.  

  11. Not true.  Topical steroids are given to heal the wound.  It has nothing to do with his testosterone levels.  Topical steroids are often used to clear up rashes and sores like herpes.  It is a common practice.  His problem is that he should have sought MLB permission to use it.  I understand being embarrassed to ask, but we’re talking about millions of dollars – put your freakin pride/ego in your pocket and ask.  Otherwise gut through the pain and let it heal on its own.

  12. Cool story.  Sounds like another smoke screen from an athlete to me.  Testosterone is only prescribed to patients with herpes who are depleted of it in their system, not to give in immense doses to lessen the effects of an outbreak.

  13. ok if braun gets this suspension and has to sit 50……then why dont you test every single guy that hits 30 homeruns every year for drug use.  Because that is what MLB is saying.  He hit 30 homeruns for the most part for his career so far each year,  So if albert hits 40 shouldnt he get tested for PEDs???  If Batista hits 50 shouldnt he get tested??  

  14. It is only a requirement for HIV/AIDS because they are life threatening diseases.  Herpes and other STD’s are not life threatening and has no requirement.  The law only applies when you can prove they knowingly spread the disease.

  15. i live in 40 minutes from milwaukee and am a huge brewer fan. a friend and i were talking during work and he told me back as early as april that braun has herpes. i asked how the hell he knew, and he said his friend’s sister hooked up with braun at an eastside milwaukee party, and right after discovered she had herpes, which was almost positively from braun considering she’s not a slut and had no boyfriend. Well we joked about it during the season and didn’t think much of it, treating it as simply another rumor. But then after the steroid allegations came out and shortly thereafter the herpes rumors were on a national level, i began to believe that him having failed his test due to taking herpes medication was a very real possibility. it definitely explains his silence; who would want to announce to the entire nation that they had herpes? this is why im very interested to see what facts end up coming out. the brewers fan in me says he’s clean; my brain says it’s 50/50 at least. it would be quite a coincidence to hear such a rumor, and then have it talked about nationally 7-8 months later

  16. If he failed this test because of medication he took for an illness, it’s a false positive.  The real issue is whether he took anything illegal to improve performance.  If the herpes story is true, the medicine was prescribed.

    Many athletes took steriods during their careers, perfectly legitimately.  The best example I can give is Sandy Koufax, who took cortisone shots on a regular basis for his arthritis.

    I’ll bet that some of the zero-tolerance douchebags who post here would call for Koufax’s ouster from the Hall of Fame.  Well, if Koufax were to be removed, so should every other man who ever threw a pitch and made it into the Hall, starting with Cy Young.

  17. Cleo he is a cheater. Nothing more, he should be ashamed to accept the mvp. What a lousy coward.

  18. haha…karma’s a bitch.  if you’re a douche like braun and you’re think your god’s gift to baseball and women, bad things will happen.  suck it braun. suck it long, and suck it hard.

  19. It isn’t a “supposed” to, they are required -by law- that they must disclose that sort of information to any potential partners and past partners. At least that is the approach to HIV/ AIDs. I would imagine that other STDs, especially the permanent ones, are lumped in with that as well. It is against the law to knowingly put others health and safety in jeopardy.

  20. All drugs have a life span that eventually breaks down. Unless the second test was given within 48 hours it should be thrown out since most drugs are out of the system in 2 to 3 days.

  21. Isn’t there a public list of those who have herpes, HIV, and AIDS, because they are required to tell their partners before having sex with them? If so then how would this be a violation of HIPAA if the information is public?

    Who knows. I could be wrong on that.

  22. What happened to the innocent until proven guilty you idiot.  Give the man a chance.  I think Jamie has more knowledge than what just come out of your yapper.

  23. I would say most of us in Milwaukee do and will support Ryan Braun and will not heckle him.  He has been tremendous for our team.  If it is because of herpes so be it.

  24. Unfortunately, as a Brewer fan, I’m going to say he still gets the suspension though. He didn’t go through the proper channels from what it sounds like. This whole fight is to get the whole PED accusations off his record so he’s not mentioned with McGuire, Bonds, and A-Rod.

  25. If the person works for MLB I would think you are suing the place they work for. Also, ESPN broke the HIPAA law too possibly for reporting the results of someone’s medical records.

  26. Yeah, the HIPAA law is the bigger issue here. I’ve administered plenty of drug tests at a NCAA school and we did it a bit different. 

    Would it really be ESPN and MLB getting sued or would it be the person from or connected to the testing that leaked it to OTL?

  27. This is why there is supposed to be an appeal process before the failed test is exposed. The fact that this information was leaked is attrocious. HIPAA laws were broken, and I wouldn’t say anything either if this happened to me.  Don’t be shocked if MLB and ESPN get sued for millions. Also, the person that leaked this should be brought up on felony charges.

  28. Jamie, as someone that has administered drug tests and have taken many drug tests in the past as a medic in the Army, I can tell you that you do not tell what medications you are on till after you fail the test. At this point you have 48 hours to disclose prescriptions for the substances that you failed.  

  29. Your statement about disclosing medications is false. They d not ask, nor will they take any medications prior to the test. It is only after you test positive for somethign that they follow up with you and your doctors

  30. I have seen this kind of thing happen before, admittedly not at a pro-level. A good friend and teammate did report that he was on doctor administered steroid based medical injections for asthma and the person administering the test and his direct superior just dropped the ball on the paperwork, which could easily happen at any level of any sport.

  31. Absolutely, just a shitty opinion article that has everything in it based on rumours.  I’m not positive that he’s innocent (I really want him to be), but I don’t think he’s guilty.  You can’t speak during the arbitration process, that’s all there is to it.  We just have to wait.  Braun’s privacy was seriously invaded and many people will always consider him a juicer, even if he does successfully appeal.

  32. Oral corticosteroids are rxed by physicians to treat herpes zoster (otherwise known for causing chicken pox and shingle).  This is a different virus than herpes simplex, the cause of genetil herpes.  If in fact Ryan was treated for herpes zoster, then this is a situation he can come out of with dignity.  

  33. yeah..the second test was soon after the 1st..so I don’t think that PED’s would have cleared his system yet..I’m not sure ..but sounds plausible.

  34. The bigger issue in all of this is the violation of Braun’s HIPAA rights. If this was handled correctly, and the spike was caused due to prescribed medication, Braun’s privacy would have been protected and the failed test may have never reached the light of day. But someone spoke out, and broke the law in doing so. Once the failed PED test is put to bed, Braun is going to be the benefactor of a massive law suit award. 

  35. HIPAA violation that ESPN OTL will hopefully have to pay for! Heads better roll at ESPN if this turns out to be an Rx that he was prescribed to him.

    ESPN probably knew the results but didn’t figure there might be more to it. This a problem with the media in hte world. They seek rating to pay the bill and always want to be the first one with the story. Well, there might be payback to ESPN on this one.

    I disagree with the statement that “the longer it takes to resolve this matter the worst the fallout will be.” I think that’s an unfounded statement as there are a lot of details here that leaves us in the dark. Nothing wrong with that.

  36. You do realize that Braun cannot speak to the allegation until his arbitration hearing is over right?  Lambasting him for not telling the whole truth to the media is ridiculous when baseball rules specifically bar him from making public statements until after the arbitration ruling.  Sorry, but you’re just gonna have to wait like the rest of us.

  37. Very interesting point. I didn’t know that. Maybe that’s why it’s taking so long then for the decision and process. Great point!

    It’s also odd that he passed the second test. Which means it could have been medication.

  38. Curious as to what steroid or testosterone-boosting agent a licensed physician would be prescribing to treat genital herpes (normal medication is anti-virals like Valtrex).  Also worth noting:  any prescription meds a player takes must be reported and cleared through MLB, so even if he had some weird legit reason to have tested positive, the fact that he apparently didn’t clear is still a 50 game suspension under the rules.

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