In a bizarre attempt to fool baseball, San Francisco star outfielder Melky Cabrera mounted a campaign to avoid his 50-game suspension that included a fake website featuring a fictitious product. MLB investigators quickly uncovered the plot, however, the New York Daily News has learned.
The newspaper reported renown investigator Jeff Novitzky and agents from MLB’s investigative arm have begun looking more closely at Cabrera and the scheme purportedly hatched in July as they seek the source of the synthetic testosterone found in his urine.
“There was a product they said caused this positive,” the source told the Daily News. “Baseball figured out the ruse pretty quickly.”
Cabrera’s suspension was announced Wednesday.
Novitzky is the Food and Drug Administration special agent who, in his prior job as an IRS special agent, ran the investigation into the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO). That probe led to the seizure of the baseball drug list and the indictment of home run king Barry Bonds.
Juan Nunez, who has been described by Cabrera’s agents, Seth and Sam Levinson, as a “paid consultant” of their firm but not an “employee,” is alleged to have paid $10,000 to purchase the fake website, according to the report.
The purpose was to fool MLB and the players’ union, while presenting them with the website and resulting phony product information, into believing Cabrera had ordered a supplement fraudulently spiked with testosterone, therefore causing the positive drug test, the report says.
Players who test positive are allowed, as part of the collective bargaining agreement that covers the MLB’s drug program, to try and prove they ingested a banned substance through no fault of their own.
Cabrera was to miss the final 45 games of the regular season and serve the remainder of the suspension at the start of next season or during the postseason, depending on whether the Giants make the playoffs and how far they advance.