Many were caught off guard last week as San Francisco Giant, and All-Star Game MVP, Melky Cabrera was suspended for 50 games by Major League Baseball for a failed drug test. For his part, Cabrera came out and admitted to his guilt, accepting the ban and apologizing to the fans.
“My positive test was the result of my use of a substance I should not have used. I accept my suspension under the Joint Drug Program and I will try to move on with my life. I am deeply sorry for my mistake and I apologize to my teammates, to the San Francisco Giants organization and to the fans for letting them down.”
Many applauded Cabrera for accepting his penalty and guilt, despite his obvious steps to cheat the game and his fellow players.He manned up and he owned his missteps.
Oh, if only the story could have ended there.
Now, the New York Daily News is reporting that before owning up to his error in judgment, Cabrera may have sought a way to get avoid a suspension. According to the report, Juan Nunez, a paid associate of Sam and Seth Levinson (Cabrera's agents), paid $10,000 to create a fake website and advertising campaign for a fictitious cream that was to become Cabrera's cover story. Cabrera was to claim using the cream without knowledge of its contents or that it would cause a positive test under the drug treatment program. The claim would allow him to skirt a suspension under a clause protecting players from falsely ingesting performance enhancers through no fault of their own.
However, the ruse was quickly discovered as a fraud and Cabrera accepted his fate, perhaps trying to avoid any further punishment or scrutiny after the scheme was debunked. Nunez has admitted to the ruse, openly saying it was of his own machinations and had no association with the Levinsons, who in their efforts are distancing themselves from Nunez.
That may be a good move by the Levinsons, as federal investigators are now interested in the case due to the efforts to hide it. They are looking into the website, Nunez, and any possible channels of supply Cabrera may have used to acquire the drugs.
Along with Cabrera, the Levinsons represent players like David Wright, Scott Rolen, and Brandon Phillips among others.
Melky Cabrera may enjoy the biggest fall of them all. As one of the more prominent names to be heading toward the free agent market this winter, it will be difficult for any team to justify dropping a large multi-year contract on a player willing to cheat the game and then sweep it under the rug of a false story.