Robinson Cano Suspended 80 Games for PEDs

A 20mg treatment of furosemide, a diuretic. Diuretics are on MLB’s banned substance list for their weight-loss effects and ability to mask other banned substances.

In one week, Seattle’s superstar second baseman broke his hand and possibly ended his path to the Hall of Fame.

MLB announced today that Robinson Cano had been suspended 80 games for using a banned substance.

He tested positive for Furosemide, a diuretic (“water pill”) that reduces extra water in the body. Since Cano broke his hand, the diuretic would help reduce much of the swelling and fluid that resulted from the injury.

While this case is more logical than most steroid stories in recent history, what cannot be ignored is furosemide’s second main effect, the real reason the diuretic is on MLB’s list of banned substances. Furosemide causes the body to create more urine, allowing the user to “flush out” and mask other banned substances faster.

The news first broke by Hèctor Gòmez of the Dominican’s ZDeportes. The report went unconfirmed 30 minutes before MLB announced the suspension.

A player of Cano’s pedigree would have no reason to have to even think of trying that. Cano’s punishment is a result of negligence more than any wrongdoing or “cheating.”

As Cano’s followup statement confirms, the slugger was treated by a Dominican doctor after breaking his hand in Sunday’s game in Detroit.

While a diuretic makes sense for an injury like this, Cano and all parties involved should have been more careful before okaying the treatment.

In what’s sure to be a pickle between Cano, Cano’s people, the Mariners, and MLB, this will be a cautionary tale for players who seek their own medical treatment, especially outside of the United States. Every one of these parties will be held accountable for this error in judgement once all of the facts come out, and this should teach teams to pay closer attention to their players who seek their own medical treatment.

The responsibility ultimately befalls on the player to know what enters his body. Cano’s biggest punishment may come after his playing days are over. He is one of the best second basemen in history, but that may not matter to Hall of Fame voters in the future.

It’s also known that most players take banned substances not to get better, but to recover from injuries faster.

Future voters project to be more merciful to players suspected of PED use, and this case would be one that voters are most likely to forgive, for all that is currently known.

It may not be the end for Cano, but this is a far greater obstacle to his path to greatness than his hand injury.

In any case, it’s a damned shame.

Photo: Sporting News


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