Michael Pineda lately obtained a 60-game suspension for testing positive for hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic that is a banned substance in keeping with the MLB Joint Drug Agreement attributable to its properties as a masking agent for anabolic steroids. This offers a blow to the playoff certain Twins. They will clearly lose him for the remainder of the common season and he can be ineligible for the playoffs. Pineda will even be a free agent after this season, so he must end serving out his suspension with whichever staff indicators him for subsequent season.
As you’re possible conscious, first time offenders who check positive for a banned substance obtain an 80-game suspension. Pineda was capable of knock it all the way down to 60 as a result of he was capable of make a persuasive case that the substance was taken unknowingly and by chance. His declare that an acquaintance obtained over-the-counter weight reduction drugs for him that occurred to be tainted with hydrochlorothiazide sounds credible. Hydrochlorothiazide can assist in weight reduction, so its presence in a weight loss program capsule is sensible.
Pineda is a giant man even for an MLB pitcher, listed at six-foot-seven and 280 kilos, and I might kindly describe him as not very athletic. Seeing as he is coming off of Tommy John surgical procedure and is in a contract yr, it is sensible that he would need to do every thing he might do to enhance his athleticism.
If MLB discovered Pineda’s rationalization to be credible, one has to surprise why they didn’t cut back his suspension even additional than they already did. I do perceive wanting to look robust on alleged PEDs, a minimum of I do from a PR and optics perspective (as a medicinal chemist, nevertheless, that is a special story completely).
That being stated, this is not Robinson Canó getting busted for taking furosemide. There was no good motive for that to be in his system. The finest case situation is that he and his physician had been extremely careless in his taking of a very fashionable and efficient diuretic for masking the use of anabolic steroids, however we’ll come again to this shortly.
If Pineda is certainly telling the reality, it s a extra plausible story than Canó’s was, and never simply because he is an chubby particular person taking a weight reduction capsule. As fellow chemist Stephanie Springer wrote about over at The Hardball Times:
“The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate supplements for efficacy, purity, contaminants, or safety. While drugs fall within the purview of the FDA, dietary supplements are not subject to the same regulations. They are regulated under the 1994 Dietary Supplement and Health Education Act, which the dietary supplement industry had a hand in creating. The act specifically forbids the FDA from requiring that dietary supplements must be effective, or even safe. Thus, the products that you find on the shelves of your local drugstore or mass market retailer may not have been tested for contaminants or adulterants.”
I’m a giant dude, however I might by no means take any of those fat burners. There is little to no proof that they’re protected and efficacious, there is nobody ensuring that these drugs have the listed energetic ingredient in the listed quantity, nor is anybody ensuring that these drugs are devoid of contaminants. If Pineda was certainly the sufferer of contaminated fat burners, both he or his acquaintance ought to have gotten one thing that is NSF Certified for Sport. That nonetheless wouldn’t imply that the drugs taken had been efficacious, however a minimum of they might not have to fret about the presence of any banned contaminants.
In assessing the credibility of Pineda’s protection, I’m positive that lots of people are pointing to his ejection and suspension for being caught with pine tar on his neck due to the glib interpretations of what constitutes dishonest on the market. I assure you that a minimum of one pitcher in your favourite staff is hiding pine tar on his cap, and it is possible much more than one. There are loads of pitchers who don’t do a significantly better job at hiding it than Pineda did, both. There are quite a lot of seen pine tar spots on the brims of pitchers’ caps. Hitters know that they’re doing it too, however they don’t care as a result of a pitcher with no good grip on the ball might lose management and by chance plunk them.
To be clear, I’m not saying that I 100 % consider Pineda and anyone who doesn’t is an fool. I’m not saying that in any respect. I’m merely saying that his protection is credible. Nothing extra.
Hydrochlorothiazide (6-chloro-Three,Four-dihydro-2H-1,2,Four-benzothiadiazine-7-sulfonamide 1,1-dioxide) is a generally prescribed diuretic that has been round for sixty years. It is a one in all the most prescribed medicines in the nation. It is fashionable as a result of it is efficient and low cost. Unlike furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide is a part of the thiazide class of diuretics. These compounds work by reducing a the kidneys’ skill to retain water, thus growing the quantity of urine that is expelled.
The mechanism of motion goes by means of binding to sodium-chloride transporters in the kidneys. This leads to the discount of the kidneys’ skill to reabsorb sodium ions into the blood stream. The extra sodium results in the urine. This is referred to as natriuresis. This sodium imbalance leads to osmosis reducing the quantity of blood and growing the quantity of urine. The lower in blood quantity is what alleviates the hypertension.
The enhance in urine quantity is what can assist masks the use of banned substances, as lined intimately in one other article by Stephanie Springer discussing Canó’s use of furosemide. In quick, increased quantity means decrease focus, which makes detecting banned substances harder. Furosemide has an identical mechanism of motion as hydrochlorothiazide, although they don’t seem to be precisely the similar. Though comparable, they’ve some main variations. For one, hydrochlorothiazide is protected to make use of long run, whereas furosemide is not.
It is vital to level out that although hydrochlorothiazide and furosemide are each diuretics that perform equally, they don’t seem to be equally helpful for athletes who need to use a masking agent. Furosemide acts extra shortly and has a half lifetime of lower than two hours. Hydrochlorothiazide has a half life of roughly 6-15 hours. Athletes that need to shortly masks the use of banned substances with out having to fret about the masking agent itself being detectable for lengthy are higher off utilizing furosemide.
All of this is to say that if Pineda’s story is made up, it’s one. Regardless, both means he confirmed some poor resolution making and now the Twins are going to be with no good pitcher for the remainder of the season and playoffs.
References and Resources
Beermann B, Groschinsky-Grind M, Rosén A (1976). “Absorption, metabolism, and excretion of hydrochlorothiazide”.
The Mayo Clinic, “Diuretics”
Alon US. The Effects of Diuretics on Mineral and Bone Metabolism. Pediatr Endocrinol Rev. 2018 Mar;15(Four):291-297
. . .
Luis Torres is a Featured Writer at Beyond the Box Score. He is a medicinal chemist by day, baseball analyst by night time. You can observe him on Twitter at @Chemtorres21.