Entertainer Quickie, Sports Edition: Danica Patrick crashes & Ryan Braun speaks out against Major League Baseball drug testing process

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Danica Patrick crashes during final lap of qualifier

NASCAR chick Danica Patrick, 29, crashed into a wall during the last lap of the NASCAR Gatorade Duel at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday.  She climbed out of the car a bit shaken, but uninjured.

Patrick’s No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet was bumped by Aric Almirola and skidded across the infield and into an inside wall.  There were only two turns left of the 150-mile race, which Tony Stewart, Patrick’s team owner, won the qualifying race.  He praised how Patrick handled herself both before and after the crash.

“It was really impressive to watch how she just kept picking her way through the field.  She got up to sixth at one point.  I thought she did a good job…There wasn’t any doubt in my mind that she would do that,” he said.

As for Patrick, she may have lost her starting position for Sunday’s Daytona 500, she is staying positive about her prospects. After being released from the infield medical care center, Patrick said she hoped her backup car might be even faster than her primary car.  Maybe, she joked, the accident will turn out to be a “blessing in disguise.”

“I feel really feel good,” Patrick said. “I feel comfortable, I feel confident, I feel like if things fall our way and I can take the experience from today into Sunday, I think it will be a good day. And obviously, things that are out of your control can make it a bad day, but that’s kind of the excitement about racing.”

Ryan Braun speaks out against Major League Baseball Drug Testing

Baseball’s National League MVP Ryan Braun tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone after a playoff game in October.  However, the 28-year-old chose to appeal the findings and impending 50-game suspension.  A third-party panel voted in favor of Braun and overturned his suspension, making him the first baseball player to win an appeal of a positive drug test.

The crux of Braun’s appeal relied on the fact that the player’s urine sample was kept in the test collector’s home refrigerator for two days before being sent into the lab in Montreal.  There was no evidence that the sample had been tampered with, according to Major League Baseball, but the possibility that contamination or mishandling could have entered the equation was enough to convince the panel to overturn the suspension.

Braun said in a statement that the ruling is the first step in restoring his reputation.

“We were able to get through this because I am innocent and the truth is on our side. We provided complete cooperation throughout, despite the highly unusual circumstances.

“I have been an open book, willing to share details from every aspect of my life as part of this investigation, because I have nothing to hide. I have passed over 25 drug tests in my career, including at least three in the past year.”

Braun and many of his Brewers teammates expressed their frustrations with Major league Baseball’s drug-testing process.  “The program, as it applied to me, was fatally flawed…I’ve felt it’s been unfair.  Are there changes that should be made? I believe yes.”

Images by tequilamike and Steve Paluch via Flickr.



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