What is furosemide, the diuretic substance that got Robinson Cano an 80-game PED suspension by MLB

Earlier Tuesday, Major League Baseball suspended Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano 80 games for violating the joint drug policy.  

Cano's failure was triggered by the presence of furosemide. Here's what you need to know about the suspension and the cause.

What is furosemide?

Per WebMD, furosemide is a diuretic -- or a pill that causes its users to create more urine, which in turn helps rid the body of excess water and salt. It can also be used as a means for cutting weight.

How is it normally used?

Furosemide is used in treating a variety of conditions, per WebMD. The list includes heart failure, and disease of the liver or kidney, as well as helping treat high blood pressure. Within the context of professional sports, an athlete is unlikely to be suffering from heart failure or other major diseases. High blood pressure is another story, as some do deal with it.

Why is it banned?

Perhaps obviously, furosemide can be used as a masking agent, helping the body rid itself of evidence of doping through urination before testing occurs. Hence why it, among other diuretics, is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency. Note that furosemide (and similar products) are most effective at avoiding detection when paired with a fast-moving stimulant.

Has furosemide caused any other suspensions?

It sure has. Wilking Rodriguez was suspended for it in 2015, and Travis Demeritte for it a few months later. It's possible that each case was an accident. Generally speaking, though, any athlete taking a diuretic for blood pressure (or other) purposes should have ample evidence proving that was the case.

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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