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Stop suggesting Eric Thames was on PEDs in Korea

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Tuesday’s Say Hey, Baseball looks at the KBO’s drug policy, Eric Thames’ latest dingers, and Addison Russell’s Pokémon collection.

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You know that suggesting or outright saying that Eric Thames was on PEDs while playing baseball in South Korea just makes you sound ignorant, right? South Korea isn't some lawless backwater where anything goes: The Korean Baseball Organization is a legitimate league with actual rules even though — shocked face — it isn't within the United States' border like Major League Baseball.

The KBO uses International Olympics Committee drug testing, meaning Thames was tested regularly during the three years he was playing there. There have been positive tests in various Korean sports, just like sports anywhere else, except in South Korea, the government stepped in to further regulate testing as a reaction to that: PED use is taken very seriously there, to the point that the drug exceptions some MLB players get don't exist either in Korea or in any organization using IOC rules.

It's not just fans on Twitter or wherever accusing Thames of PEDs: A couple of high-profile Cubs heavily implied Thames was using recently, too. Thames was tested regularly in the KBO. He's already been tested in MLB. He's always had power, but now he's got more experience and an improved swing, and you're seeing the results in his league-lead in homers. There is far more to hitting baseballs than being large and muscular, and the fact Thames has seen everything else about his game improve in his time away speaks volumes about the work he's put in.

Maybe just sit back and enjoy the Eric Thames Experience instead of assuming that the KBO is some third-rate baseball circus that lets its players run wild just because it's not MLB.