Ryan Braun, the National League's Most Valuable Player, has reportedly tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug.
According an ESPN report on Saturday, Braun is disputing the test results through arbitration. If the positive test is upheld, the Milwaukee Brewers outfielder would face a 50-game suspension.
A urine test during the playoffs contained elevated levels of testosterone, ESPN reported, and Braun was notified a month before he was named MVP.
While no MLB player has ever successfully appealed a drug test, a report later on Saturday said a second test requested by Braun turned up negative.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported, per a source, that the negative test was being used in Braun's appeal process. The paper's source said the banned substance was not a performance-enhancing drug.
A spokesman for Braun defended the outfielder in a statement obtained by several outlets:
"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," the statement said.
"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."
Braun, the 2007 NL Rookie of the Year, led the league this past season with a .994 OPS and .597 slugging percentage and finished second with a .332 batting average, 336 total bases and 109 runs scored.
Brewers owner Mark Attanasio issued a lengthy statement late Saturday night supporting Braun.
"MLB has put a confidential testing program into place, which I personally support, that has a specific review process that must be followed before determining whether a player is in violation," the statement read. "Ryan has issued a statement that there are highly unusual circumstances surrounding this case that will support his complete innocence and demonstrate that there was absolutely no intentional violation of the program. We are dealing with an incomplete set of facts and speculation. Before there is a rush to judgment, Ryan deserves the right to be heard. We are committed to supporting Ryan to get to the truth of what happened in this unfortunate situation.
"I need to acknowledge that at this point the Milwaukee Brewers have not heard from the Office of the Commissioner or any official entity related to the MLB testing programs. Accordingly we do not have access to any of the facts or knowledge of any of the circumstances that are being circulated in the media with regard to Ryan Braun. The team will release follow-up statements at the appropriate time."
Braun finished fourth with 111 RBI and tied for sixth with 33 home runs, leading the Brewers to the NL Central crown.