Ryan Braun cast doubt on the sample collection procedures of MLB during his media session on Friday, as well as the actions taken by the collector, Dino I. Laurenzi, Jr. in handling the test sample that came up positive for performance enhancing drugs.
On Tuesday, Laurenzi came out swinging and defended himself, his professionalism and took on Ryan Braun’s assertion that he should have left the sealed sample at a Fed Ex location for the weekend.
Mr. Laurenzi has been a tester since 2005 with Comprehensive Drug Testing (CDT) and serves as the director of rehabilitation services for United Hospital System in Kenosha, WI according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
The company’s protocol expressly instructs testers to secure a collected and sealed sample in their homes, rather than leave it with Federal Express after the shipping deadline was missed, particularly over a weekend.
In a long statement that begins with a denial of tampering and ends with Mr. Laurenzi speaking about the emotional travail suffered and scorn heaped on him and his family, he goes into great detail about his employer’s protocol.
“In that circumstance, CDT has instructed collectors since I began in 2005 that they should safeguard the samples in their homes until FedEx is able to immediately ship the sample to the laboratory, rather than having the samples sit for one day or more at a local FedEx office,” he said. “Given the lateness of the hour that I completed my collections, there was no FedEx office located within 50 miles of Miller Park that would ship packages that day or Sunday.“
Ryan Braun told media on Friday that almost 20 Fed Ex locations were open after the tester left Miller Park on that Saturday, but Laurenzi has now clarified why he didn’t stop to drop off the sample. He also tested two other players that day and those samples are not the subject of controversy, because we don’t know if the samples tested positive for PEDs.
That, of course is the way the MLB drug testing policy is supposed to work. Privacy is assured unless or until a player loses an appeal of a positive result or chooses not to appeal one. Read: Should Ryan Braun be victimized twice to prove his innocence?
Ryan Braun defended himself on two fronts: 1) he denied taking anything that would have resulted in a positive drug test of his urine and 2) if #1 is true then something untoward happened to his sample during the time it was in the control of the tester who took it home for the weekend.
We now understand why Mr. Laurenzi did that. In his statement of Tuesday he went through the details of how the sample was sealed in the presence of Ryan Braun and how Braun had to sign a statement to that effect.
“I sealed the bottles containing Mr. Braun’s A and B samples with specially-numbered, tamper-resistant seals, and Mr. Braun signed a form certifying, among other things, that the specimens were capped and sealed in his presence and that the specimen identification numbers on the top of the form matched those on the seals.”
“I placed the two bottles containing Mr. Braun’s samples in a plastic bag and sealed the bag. I then placed the sealed bag in a standard cardboard Specimen Box which I also sealed with a tamper-resistant, correspondingly-numbered seal placed over the box opening. I then placed Mr. Braun’s Specimen Box, and the Specimen Boxes containing the samples of the two other players, in a Federal Express Clinic Pack. None of the sealed Specimen Boxes identified the players.”
ESPN.com Wisconsin carried the full statement of Mr. Laurenzi for your information.