From the beginning Ryan Braun professed his innocence with regards to taking performance enhancing drugs. Thursday's decision to overturn MLB's 50 game suspension validated his stance and vindicated him in the process. Although Braun has been cleared of any wrong doing it's too late to unring the bell. There will be some fans that still think he's guilty. The court of popular opinion has a different criteria. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it must be a duck right?
Because of the rampant steroid use in the early 90's baseball fans are skeptical about players who are associated with any kind of failed drug test. They have been burned too many times to trust what anybody says.
The lack of trust even affects players who have never tested positive for a banned substance. Alber Pujols and Jose Bautista repeatedly have to answer questions about the huge numbers they put up. Some people (myself included) are suspicious of their production given the sustained success (Pujols) and the unusual increase in home runs (Bautista). It's a no win situation for them.
People spread gossip and believe what they must, but in the end no one really knows for sure who's guilty or innocent. I've said many times MLB should let players take what they want if it translates to a better product on the field. With millions of dollars at stake and unbelievable pressure to perform at a high level drug use isn't going away. Congrats Ryan Braun. You fought the law and you won.