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Man Who Collected Ryan Braun's Sample Says He Didn't Tamper With It

Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun waits for his turn to take batting practice at baseball spring training in Phoenix. The person who collected Braun's urine samples that tested positive for elevated testosterone levels says he followed the collection program's protocol.
Paul Connors

Dino Laurenzi Jr., the man who collected a urine sample from the Milwaukee Brewer's left fielder Ryan Braun, is defending himself for the first time.

Laurenzi was thrust into baseball's drug testing debate, when Braun questioned his integrity during a press conference on Friday.

If you remember, last week Braun, who is the reigning most valuable player for baseball's National League, became the first player to successfully challenge a positive drug test by arguing that keeping a sample at a collector's home violated baseball's drug testing protocol.

In that press conference, Braun presented himself as a "victim of a process that broke down," and questioned the integrity of his sample.

"What could have possibly happened to it during that 44-hour period? 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," Braun said, according to CNN.

But in a statement released yesterday Laurenzi says he followed procedure as he had done "in the hundreds of other samples I collected under the Program."

Laurenzi said he has worked for Major League Baseball's Comprehensive Drug Testing since 2005 and performed more than 600 collections during four separate seasons and for five different teams.

Laurenzi says the samples were sealed correctly and not tampered with. He says that like he had done on other occasions, samples were kept in the basement of his home over the weekend until Fedex opened and could ship them immediately.

"This situation has caused great emotional distress for me and my family," Laurenzi said. "I have worked hard my entire life, have performed my job duties with integrity and professionalism, and have done so with respect to this matter and all other collections in which I have participated."

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Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
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