Sport Robinson Cano suspension: 7 questions for Mariners slugger after failed drug test

23:10  15 may  2018
23:10  15 may  2018 Source:   sportingnews.com

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The Mariners' Robinson Cano is the latest MLB player to test positive for a banned substance and then claim at least partial ignorance. Such claims are not just getting harder to believe, but they border on an insult to our intelligence.

Cano issued a statement Tuesday afternoon that said he was prescribed a drug — Furosemide — by a doctor in the Domincan Republic, but that he took it without knowing that MLB considers it illegal. It's a drug that can be used to treat various medical conditions, so it's not a PED, but it's also sometimes used to mask steroid use. Either way, that doesn't look good for Cano.

"I obviously now wish that I had been more careful," he said in the statement.

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Well, yeah. I have a few questions, as I do whenever someone gets suspended and claims they had no idea they'd done anything wrong. The circumstances are sometimes different, but the questions are pretty much the same.

PHOTOS: A look back at other PED suspensions

1. How do you not know what's going into your body?

In his statement, Cano cited dozens of clean drug test during his career and said he would "never do anything to cheat the rules of the game that I love." Well, he did cheat in MLB's eyes, but even if there was no intent to cheat it seems like being victimized in this way should be easily avoidable in 2018. With training and nutrition so emphasized in the modern game, not to mention the well-known penalties for failed drug tests, there's no reason to put anything into your body without knowing exactly what's in it. Speaking of that ...

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2. Why would you take something without knowing everything about it?

Even if Cano was truly ignorant about Furosemide, it wouldn't have been hard for him to learn about it. Besides, a doctor treating an MLB player in 2018 should know what that player is allowed to take. Heck, players who see new doctors should go in with a "Don't give me anything that will get me suspended" attitude. That means approaching any prespription with a healthy suspicion. At the very least, maybe do a little Googling. It's hard to believe that there isn't an approved medication that could've been used instead of Furosemide.

3. Do you consult anyone with your team or MLB before taking a new substance?

New supplements, substances and medications are coming to market all the time. Many of them might seem attractive for various reasons. If you decide to try one, or even if a doctor recommends it, it seems wise to consult a team doctor, trainer or other league official with medical training who could tell you whether you might get in trouble.

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MORE: Clemens: I should've told PED accusers 'to go s— in their hats'

4. Why are you going off-list of approved medications?

MLB has a list of approved substances. You should, in theory, know what's OK to take. It wouldn't seem wise to go off the list, no matter how innocent something seems, and no matter what your doctor says. If it's not on the list, stay away. If nothing else, the list of players who claim to be surprised when they test positive for a banned substance should illustrate the danger in this.

5. Will you warn other players about falling victim to lack of knowledge when it comes to this stuff?

Even though Cano says he did not take a PED, which, again, Furosemide isn't, it still should be a learning experience for all MLB players — just as every other drug-related suspension should have been, but apprarently wasn't.

"Today I decided to accept MLB’s suspension," Cano said in his statement. "This was the most difficult decision I have ever made in my life, but ultimately the right decision given that I do not dispute that I was given this substance."

Perhaps MLB players should make a real effort to spread awareness to make sure these things stop happening — if the reported ignorance is actually this rampant, which, again, is hard to believe. But I'll take them at their word for now, so it would probably be good for Cano and other players who've fallen victim to supposed accidental contamination to lobby for better education or better communication about the dangers of trying new stuff. Related to that ...

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6. What will you do differently now that you've apparently let ignorance get you suspended?

When a player tests positive for something he claims was innocently taken, you'd think he'd immediately make changes — finding a new doctor, becoming more vocal, seeking education and so forth — to not only make sure it never happens to him again, but to make sure it never happens to anyone again. Think of it as leading by loud example. We don't know whether others who've claimed ignorance have taken steps to help teammates avoid similar mistakes, but you get the feeling that it hasn't happened to any real extent.

7. Do you believe stricter punishments will deter future unintentional ingestion?

a baseball player holding a bat: Robinson Cano © (Getty Images) Robinson Cano

Some players have said the MLB justice system is too lenient on PED offenders. Because nearly all players who test positive for banned substances claim ignorance, maybe the punishments should be more intense. Maybe that would deter players from taking the wrong things, as this is obviously an issue, what with all the players who "unintentionally" take bad stuff.

If players are actually in the dark about what they're taking, and if players actually want to do something about it, it's past time to get serious about it.

MLB trade news: Mariners acquire Denard Span, Alex Colome from Rays .
The Mariners lost Robinson Cano at second base and Dee Gordon in center field. Now they have required a stop gap and an additional reliever.Welcome to Seattle, @AlexanderColome and @thisisdspan.The Mariners have acquired RHP Alex Colomé, OF Denard Span and cash consideration from the Rays in exchange for RHPs Andrew Moore and Tommy Romero.:newspaper: | https://t.co/TqvrYk0x32pic.twitter.com/QhzTsyFUYLThe Rays have received in return starting pitcher Andrew Moore and minor league pitcher Tommy Romero from Seattle.

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