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Wednesday, January 18, 2012
MVP Ryan Braun to speak at dinner

ESPN.com news services

Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, who faces a 50-game suspension after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance, is expected to speak at a banquet where he will accept his National League MVP award.

Braun
Braun

Braun will appear at the annual awards dinner of the Baseball Writers' Association of America on Saturday in New York, a spokesman for the player told The New York Times.

"He will be there and he will accept his award," Matthew Hiltzik told The Times.

In December, ESPN's "Outside The Lines" reported, citing sources, that the positive test showed elevated levels of testosterone in Braun's system.

A spokesman for Braun confirmed the positive test at the time, but said "there are highly unusual circumstances surrounding this case which will support Ryan's complete innocence and demonstrate there was absolutely no intentional violation" of baseball's drug-testing program.

Braun faces a 50-game suspension if the initial finding is upheld. He is appealing the ruling. Last month, he told USA Today that the test result was "B.S."

He has not made a public appearance since news of the positive test broke Dec. 10. Hiltzik told The Times that Braun does not intend to do interviews Saturday. Braun was named MVP on Nov. 22.

Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp finished second in MVP balloting. The BBWAA said it has no intention of taking the award from Braun.

In April, Braun signed a five-year contract extension with the Brewers worth $105 million. He went out and had the best season of his career, carrying the Brewers to their first division title in nearly three decades.

He led the league in slugging percentage at .597, with a .332 batting average, 33 home runs, 111 RBIs, 109 runs scored and 33 stolen bases.

Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.