Dontcha know, Robinson Cano got busted.
Cano, the former Yankee and current Mariners All-Star second baseman, was suspended 80 games for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement, the league announced Tuesday.
MLB said Cano tested positive for Furosemide, a diuretic, and that the suspension is effective immediately. It is Cano’s first positive test, and he will not appeal the discipline, according to a statement released by the Dominican-born slugger. Cano made a point to underscore that the positive test was not for steroids or performance-enhancing drugs, although doping experts say Furosemide is a masking agent commonly used by athletes who are doping.
“Recently I learned that I tested positive for a substance called Furosemide, which is not a Performance Enhancing Substance,” Cano said. “Furosemide is used to treat various medical conditions in the United States and the Dominican Republic. This substance was given to me by a licensed doctor in the Dominican Republic to treat a medical ailment. While I did not realize at the time that I was given medication that was banned, I obviously now wish that I had been more careful.”
Victor Conte, the BALCO founder who was at the center of the doping sports scandal involving home run king Barry Bonds, told the Daily News that Furosemide is used to dilute urine.
“You’re trying to push water out,” said Conte, now an advocate for clean sports. “The trade name is Lasix. Body builders use a diuretic so they can look shredded. Furosemide is one of the most powerful diuretics out there. Why would a healthy Major League Baseball player be using it? In all likelihood, it was for masking.”
Another doping expert said that Furosemide would be used to “flush out something as quickly as possible. That’s a dead giveaway for masking something else.”
Cano tested positive before the start of the 2018 season, the Daily News has learned. MLB and the Players Association are notified of a positive test by an Independent Program Administrator, and in Cano’s case, the administrator had to determine whether the diuretic was being used for legitimate medical purposes or to avoid detection. The administrator determined it was the latter, sparking the suspension. Cano, according to sources, was originally going to appeal, but dropped that strategy. He broke his right hand during an at-bat Sunday against the Tigers and is currently on the disabled list.
Players can apply for a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) if they require a certain medication to treat a condition, and if that medication falls on the banned substances list.
The 35-year-old Cano is in the fifth year of his massive, 10-year, $240 million deal with Seattle. The suspension would include time he spends on the DL. But Cano would not be eligible for the postseason if the Mariners gain a playoff berth. Seattle has not reached the postseason since 2001, and Cano was signed to help get them back there.
Cano began his career with the Bombers in 2005 and he was part of the Yankees’ last championship, in 2009. He has a career .304 average and is batting .287 with four home runs and 23 RBI in 39 games for the Mariners this season.
While he was with the Yankees, Cano was close to Melky Cabrera and Alex Rodriguez, both of whom were caught up in the Biogenesis doping scandal. Cabrera was suspended 50 games in 2012 after he tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone, but he tried to cover up the bust by concocting a phony website. A-Rod served a season-long doping ban in 2014.
“Players from the Dominican Republic have always been part of a pipeline for PEDs to baseball,” said Conte. “It may be unfair to jump to conclusions but there is a history in place that should not be ignored.” Steroids and human growth hormone can be purchased legally in the Dominican.
Cano tried to play up his image in his statement by saying he’s never taken PEDs.
Source: Ny Daily News