By Jim Owczarski Sports Editor Published Feb 01, 2013 at 11:01 AM Photography: David Bernacchi

Well, so much for a "calm" and "uneventful" offseason for Ryan Braun.

Five days ago at Brewers On Deck, the 2011 National League Most Valuable Player was all smiles, feeling healthy and refreshed. The 2012 season was a tumultuous one, beginning with a leaked positive test for performance enhancing drugs, followed by his subsequent appeal and overturning of the test result and suspension.

Braun got through that – and some nagging injuries – to put up MVP numbers for the second straight year.

The past was quickly becoming the past.

Until Tuesday, that is, when the Miami New Times dropped a bomb on Major League Baseball. The paper uncovered that a Miami-based anti-aging clinic had been supplying performance enhancing drugs to players like Alex Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera and Gio Gonzalez.

In fact, three of the players listed by the paper – Cabrera, pitcher Bartolo Colon and San Diego Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal – were all suspended by MLB last year for testing positive for PEDs.

Braun's name is nowhere in this story. No current player in the Milwaukee Brewers organization is. Yet it took only moments for others to begin to connect Braun to Biogenesis.


Because Braun attended the University of Miami from 2003-05, and the Hurricanes are directly implicated in this report – namely the program's strength coach Jimmy Goins.

Goins joined the Hurricanes staff in 2004.

And, one of Braun's former Hurricanes teammates, pitcher Cesar Carrillo, is also named in the report as having obtained PEDs from the clinic.

Unfortunately, this is the true price of that leaked positive test.

Whenever Braun retires, I'm sure the Hall of Fame (and whoever determines its inductees) will look at the trials he faced prior to 2012 as nothing more than a blip on his career radar. It'll be mentioned, but that's it.

But this? This is what he'll have to deal with for the rest of his career.

Of course, he has his share of supporters, too:

I'm sure, at some point, Braun's name would have come up in the coming days just by going through every player on the Hurricanes roster since Goins joined the team in 2004. But if the leaked test and appeal weren't made public – as they should not have been per MLB rules – the most that would've happened is a passing mention, or perhaps, Braun being asked his thoughts on the matter.

Now, not only will he be asked about it – he's already being proven guilty of something in many people's eyes. This loose connection to a lab in Miami is just an "affirmation" for those who didn't buy his appeal to begin with.

Trust me, I get it. Braun is a tricky case for the public. Did he technically test positive for PEDs? Yes. Did MLB overturn the test due to a flawed collecting system? Yes. Does one negate the other? To me, it does. He has no positive test on his record, no suspension.

According to Major League Baseball, he's clean. So that's that.

In the court of public opinion, however, nothing is ever so black and white. One side lines up yelling "He did it!" and the other yells back "He didn't!"

In the middle is Braun, who will forever have to deal with that. It's an unfortunate space to occupy.

Jim Owczarski is an award-winning sports journalist and comes to Milwaukee by way of the Chicago Sun-Times Media Network.

A three-year Wisconsin resident who has considered Milwaukee a second home for the better part of seven years, he brings to the market experience covering nearly all major and college sports.

To this point in his career, he has been awarded six national Associated Press Sports Editors awards for investigative reporting, feature writing, breaking news and projects. He is also a four-time nominee for the prestigious Peter J. Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism, presented by the Chicago Headline Club, and is a two-time winner for Best Sports Story. He has also won numerous other Illinois Press Association, Illinois Associated Press and Northern Illinois Newspaper Association awards.

Jim's career started in earnest as a North Central College (Naperville, Ill.) senior in 2002 when he received a Richter Fellowship to cover the Chicago White Sox in spring training. He was hired by the Naperville Sun in 2003 and moved on to the Aurora Beacon News in 2007 before joining

In that time, he has covered the events, news and personalities that make up the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Hockey League, NCAA football, baseball and men's and women's basketball as well as boxing, mixed martial arts and various U.S. Olympic teams.

Golf aficionados who venture into Illinois have also read Jim in GOLF Chicago Magazine as well as the Chicago District Golfer and Illinois Golfer magazines.