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Mudville: June 16, 2024 12:46 am PDT

Larry, Moe and Cano

Well, it’s been over two weeks now and not too much has been made of Robinson Cano’s  latest positive PED test, which is kind of a surprise. One of the best and respected players of the past generation, and a once sure-fire Hall of Famer, tests positive for PEDs and the media have treated it like he sprained his ankle.

Frankly, when I heard that Robinson Cano was suspended for the 2021 season after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug, I regained an interest in the Mets and baseball in general (I’ve admittedly been a lapsed baseball fan). I looked forward to hearing more about it and maybe some spirited – albeit usually uninformed – debate on sports talk radio.

For whatever reason, a good, old fashioned failed PED test has always caught my interest, especially in baseball.

I never was as interested in baseball as when Barry Bonds and his enormous and seemingly ever-expanding cranium dominated the major leagues at the turn of the century. I was sure the Cano story would rekindle some of the ‘PED’s in Sports’ debate.

Nah. Nothing. Zilch.

So let’s talk about it here.

According to the Newsday.com article, Robinson tested positive for Stanozolol, also known as Winstrol, and ‘Winny.’ This was the same drug that Ben Johnson was popping like Pez when he embarrassed himself in the Seoul Olympics in 1988.

By the way, the embarrassing thing was Ben getting caught, not using.

No one is sure what Cano was thinking going and getting popped again.

Speaking of embarrassing, how about Cano getting caught in 2020 for a drug that is so 1988? Cano was playing tee ball when this drug was en vogue. There wasn’t an internet. Or cell phones. The Mets were good. The Knicks were in the playoffs. ‘Faith,’ by George Michael was the Number 1 song and ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit,’ was the highest-grossing film.

I don’t know anyone who has ever seen, ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit.’ But I digress…

Cano using Winny in 2020 is like someone today using a beeper.

Stanozolol/ Winstrol/ Winny was/is a very popular drug with the body building/aesthetic crowd. Not for the freaks who wanted to look like a cartoon character, Winstrol gave users a lean, muscular, ‘hard’ look. Winny is very popular amongst models and actors, too – because it works.

“Today you have to wonder if Cano was getting his medical advice from Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine and the other Dr. Howard.”

Thirty-five years ago it was a popular, effective performance enhancer. But even then, it was easy enough to detect. In 2020, it’s a Stone Age drug, and using and thinking you won’t get caught is like trying to deny the huge, oozing zit you have on the tip of your nose.

‘Zit?!? What zit?’

Now, if you’re a bouncer at a club, someone auditioning for the next season of ‘Jersey Shore,’ or just someone who wants to look good beyond what a healthy diet and exercise can do, knock yourself out. Your body, your choice.

But Robinson Cano is a Major League Baseball player. If he wanted to use PEDs there are plenty of more effective and safer drugs out there. There are methods he could use to give himself a better shot at not getting caught.

Instead, he’s walking around with a huge zit on his nose, thinking nobody will notice.

Here’s a little history. Cano failed a drug test in 2018 for using a diuretic, something no healthy person would ever need, certainly not an elite professional athlete. Diuretics are used – a classic panic move – to try and avoid failing a drug test. The details of it are beyond the scope of this column, but the concept is the diuretic – called a masking agent – makes you pee a lot and as a result, ‘hides’ the drug’s presence in the body.

This approach was clever 40+ years ago. Today you have to wonder if Cano was getting his medical advice from Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine and the other Dr. Howard.

Paging Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard and the other Dr. Howard.

What would be really interesting is if MLB made him come totally clean and tell them everything about how and why he took the drug and, in return, reduce the suspension. Who gave it to him. Where they got it. If he injected, who prepared and administered the injection.

That’s the real interesting story here… do you really think this PED use occurs in isolation? One player here, one player there? Or that the only players who use are the ones who get caught?

But in the weird wacky world of 2020, even in sports, nobody seems to care. And that’s too bad.

Sal Marinello is a Performance and Sport Coach with over 30 years experience working with individuals, teams, clubs, and schools at all levels from youth to professional. He has written articles for the NY Post, was a regular contributor to Steve Czaban’s nationally syndicated sports talk radio show, and has appeared on ESPN shows as a subject matter expert in the area of PEDs in sport.

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