Melky Cabrera steroid suspension was what it would do to the San Francisco Giants’ playoff run.
Now the question is whether Cabrera, more than a decade after BALCO, has
turned the Giants’ clubhouse into a crime scene.
As a Daily
News exclusive investigation reported on Sunday, Cabrera and at least one of
his associates launched a fictitious website featuring a nonexistent sports
cream last month in an attempt to beat his positive test for elevated levels of
The website is gone, but its creation may have left a digital trail for
federal law enforcement to follow into the sport’s resilient doping
And Major League Baseball is happy for the help from the feds.
Fearful that players who test positive for performance-enhancing drugs are
playing games with the league’s collectively-bargained drug program, baseball
officials have welcomed federal investigators as they attempt to find out who
was involved in the scam.
The bizarre scam has attracted the attention of investigators from multiple
federal agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration steroid cop Jeff
Novitzky, who uncovered the BALCO doping ring in Burlingame, Calif., and
disrupted the steroid distribution ring Kirk Radomski ran out of his Long Island
home. Working alongside the feds is a team from MLB’s Department of
Investigations, created in 2008 at the recommendation of former Sen. George
Mitchell, who wrote in his 2007 report on performance-enhancing drugs in
baseball that the league needed an internal investigative team to identify areas
where the sport was vulnerable to corruption.
“There’s a new regime and a new way of doing things in Major League
Baseball,” one source familiar with the case told the Daily News, referring to
the cooperation between law enforcement and baseball’s DOI, led by former New
York City cop Dan Mullin.
As The News reported, Cabrera associate Juan Nunez, described by Cabrera’s
agents, Seth and Sam Levinson, as a “paid consultant” of their firm, accepted
sole responsibility for creating the website, saying the agents had nothing to
do with the scheme.
Baseball and the feds, however, are looking for anyone else who might have
conspired in creating a site that was available to anyone with an Internet
connection, at least briefly.
Beyond possible conspiracy charges lie several other possibilities. “There
are several agencies that could be interested, depending how this plays out,”
said New York attorney Tom Harvey, including the FDA and the Federal Trade
Commission, depending on how the ad was presented and what it said.
“If anyone else had anything whatsoever to do with putting up a fake website
and a fake product, they should have substantial concerns, and there certainly
could be criminal exposure, especially on a conspiracy count.”