News came out on Tuesday that Seattle Mariner Tim Beckham has been suspended for 80 games for using a performance enhancing drug. KNKX sports commentator Art Thiel talked with KNKX’s Kevin Kniestedt about how Beckham should have, and probably did, know better.
This is the second time in as many seasons in which a Seattle Mariner has been suspended for 80 games. Robinson Cano was suspended for using a performance enhancing drug last season.
In his statement, Beckham said he got the banned substance from a “trusted source.” But Thiel says the only sources you can trust come from within the organization, and that is made clear to the players.
“There aren’t any trusted sources out there except for what the club has. The trainers, the doctors, the specialists involved, because everyone else is not a trusted source," Thiel said. "And that’s by agreement in the collective bargaining agreement.”
He says this is made so clear to the players that taking any sort of substance from an outside source is ridiculous.
“It’s really kind of absurd," he said. "I look at it like getting busted for out-of-season hunting in downtown Seattle.”
Thiel says this isn’t on the Mariners as a team. He says the rules are incredibly clear, and it's obvious the team doesn’t want something like this to happen. This is a case in which the player has to take complete responsibility. He also says that this banned substance has been around so long, that everybody who knows about it knows better.
“This drug has been around for 50 years," Thiel said. "The International Olympic Committee banned it in 1974, and in 1988 Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson had his 100-meter gold medal stripped for the same performance enhancer.”
Thiel does say, however, that while this might not be the fault of the team, it’s just another element to an already dismal season. He says while the Mariners knew this year would be bad, they didn’t know it would be this bad, and the Beckham suspension could just be another thing that keeps fans from believing in the team.
“It just ratchets up the cynicism about this season, and the skepticism about the future," he said. "This doesn’t do anything for the Mariner image, or the trust that fans want to have and should have with the ballclub.”