The person who collected Ryan Braun’s urine sample that tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone said he followed the collection program’s protocol.
Dino Laurenzi Jr. issued a statement Tuesday confirming he handled the sample submitted following a playoff game on Oct. 1. He said he has been a collector for Comprehensive Drug Testing since 2005 and has taken more than 600 samples for Major League Baseball’s drug-testing program.
“At no point did I tamper in any way with the samples,” Laurenzi said.
Laurenzi’s name emerged last week after the NL MVP’s 50-game suspension was overturned, making Braun the first big leaguer to successfully challenge a drug-related penalty in a grievance.
Laurenzi said he stored Braun’s sample in his basement in accordance with CDT’s protocol because there was “no FedEx office located within 50 miles of Miller Park that would ship packages that day or Sunday.”
Braun, however, has said at least five FedEx locations within 5 miles were open until 9 p.m. and there also was a 24-hour location.
Laurenzi said the operating procedure is to “safeguard” the samples at home until FedEx can ship the sample to the lab.
“There have been other occasions when I have had to store samples in my home for at least one day, all without incident,” he said.
Oakland taps McCarthy
Oakland manager Bob Melvin said Brandon McCarthy will be the Athletics opening day pitcher.
The A’s open their season in Japan on March 28. Melvin said Bartolo Colon will start the second game the following day.
Kuroda in Yankees’ rotation
New York Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi indicated that right-hander Hiroki Kuroda will join opening-day starter CC Sabathia in the team’s five-man rotation.
Myers to close for Astros
Brett Myers, who started 66 of the 67 games in which he played during his first two seasons with the Houston Astros, will be the team’s closer this year.