The drug test collector who handled Ryan Braun’s urine specimen spoke out today after the reigning National League MVP held a press conference explaining that the reason his 50-game suspension was dropped on appeal was a result of suspicious actions in his testing procedure.
Braun, whose sample tested positive for performance enhancing drugs last postseason, held a press conference Feb. 24 explaining that “there were a lot of things that we learned about the collector, about the collection process, about the way that the entire thing worked that made us very concerned and very suspicious about what could have actually happened.”
Dino Laurenzi Jr., the tester who collected the sample, released a statement through his attorney today. Here is an excerpt:
"I followed the same procedure in collecting Mr. Braun's sample as I did in the hundreds of other samples I collected under the Program. I sealed the bottles containing Mr. Braun's A and B samples with specially-numbered, tamper-resistant seals, and Mr. Braun signed a form signifying, 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. I completed my collections at Miller Park at approximately 5:00 p.m. 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.
"Therefore, the earliest that the specimens could be shipped was Monday, October 3. 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. The protocol has been in place since 2005 when I started with CDT and there have been other occasions when I have had to store samples in my home for at least one day, all without incident.
"The FedEx Clinic Pack containing Mr. Braun's samples never left my custody. Consistent with CDT's instructions, I brought the FedEx Clinic Pack containing the samples to my home.
"Immediately upon arriving home, I placed the FedEx Clinic Pack in a Rubbermaid container in my office which is located in my basement. My basement office is sufficiently cool to store urine samples.
"No one other than my wife was in my home during the period in which the samples were stored. The sealed Specimen Boxes were not removed from the FedEx Clinic Pack during the entire period in which they were in my home. "On Monday, October 3, I delivered the FedEx Clinic Pack containing Mr. Braun's Specimen Box to a FedEx office for delivery to the laboratory on Tuesday, October 4. At no point did I tamper in any way with the samples. It is my understanding that the samples were received at the laboratory with all tamper-resistant seals intact.