Ryan Braun won't attend fan event

Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio announced Wednesday that outfielder Ryan Braun, who is facing a 50-game suspension for a positive drug test, will not take part in the team's fan event this weekend.

"In working through the logistics of this weekend's Brewers On Deck event in Milwaukee with Ryan Braun -- and knowing how much he enjoys interacting candidly with Brewers fans -- we came to the conclusion that this is too sensitive of a time in the confidential process for him to attend this year," Attanasio said in a statement.

"I speak for everyone at the Brewers, including Ryan, in thanking our fans for their understanding and patience."

Braun accepted his NL MVP award in New York last Saturday and said "everything I have done in my career has been done with respect and appreciation for the game of baseball."

Although he never directly addressed the allegations against him -- that his MVP season was accomplished with the help of a banned substance -- it was clear Braun's remarks were pointed at the legal battle he is currently involved in.

"You know, sometimes in life, we all deal with challenges we never expected to endure," Braun said, while accepting his award at the annual dinner of the New York chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America. "We have an opportunity to look at those challenges and view them either as obstacles or as opportunities, and I've chosen to view every challenge I've ever faced as an opportunity and this will be no different. I have always believed that a person's character is revealed through the way they deal with those moments of adversity."

Braun tested positive for an elevated level of testosterone in a urine test taken in October, a story first reported by ESPN's "Outside the Lines." There are conflicting reports about what caused the positive result, and the New York Times quoted a source as saying a later test showed Braun to have normal testosterone levels.

Braun began his appeal of his positive test before baseball arbitrator Shyam Das last Thursday, the New York Daily News and the Associated Press reported.

As Braun tries to avoid a 50-game suspension, the burden is a heavy one to overcome. A baseball arbitrator has never ordered a suspension overturned following a grievance hearing.

The AP's source did not know whether the hearing had concluded or whether it would extend into at least one more session. Typically in grievances, after the hearing the sides may submit written final arguments before the arbitrator rules.

MLB has not confirmed the positive test. Baseball's drug agreement says first positive tests are not made public until after the appeals process has been completed.

Technically, the arbitration is before a three-person panel that also includes a representative of management and the union. The independent member, Das, is the decisive vote in nearly all cases.

The 28-year-old, who was the 2007 NL Rookie of the Year, hit .312 with 33 homers and 111 RBIs last season and led Milwaukee to the NL Championship Series, where the Brewers lost to the eventual World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals.

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