Springer: The chemistry of masking agents

From Stephanie Springer at The Hardball Times on May 21, 2018:

Since the announcement that Robinson Cano would be suspended 80 games for testing positive for furosemide, there has been a flurry of confusion and misunderstanding regarding Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement (JDA). A quick search of Twitter reveals a number of people asking, “Furosemide? My <insert family member here> takes furosemide! How can it be a banned substance?” and “How is furosemide a performance enhancer? It’s a diuretic!” and “There are approved substances, why didn’t he take one of those?” We can address a few of these questions by taking a closer look at what furosemide and other diuretics do and why they show up in the JDA.

In his statement following the suspension, Cano claimed he took a diuretic under the supervision of a licensed doctor in the Dominican Republic as part of treatment for an undisclosed medical condition, and was unaware at the time that the medication was on the banned substances list. It’s possible Cano has (or had) a medical condition that required the use of a diuretic. We know his 2015 season was marred by a number of health issues, including a nagging stomach ailment. So what purpose would a diuretic serve?

Read the full article here: https://www.fangraphs.com/tht/the-science-of-masking-agents/

Originally published: May 21, 2018. Last Updated: May 21, 2018.