San Francisco Giants Baseball Player Creates Fake Website to Explain Steroid Positive

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Melky Cabrera, the All-Star Game Most Valuable Player, was caught using the anabolic steroid testosterone. But he was still desperate to escape a 50-game suspension as a result of his first violation of the MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program steroid testing program. After all, he was in the midst of a break out year with the San Francisco Giants. And his team was depending on him. So he created an elaborate hoax to explain the positive steroid test result.

The New York Daily News reported that Cabrera and one of his “associates” wanted to blame the steroid positive on the MLB player’s use of a dietary supplement. Of course, this is a very common and not-so-creative defensive used by steroid users. And given the widespread availability of synthetic steroids and synthetic steroid clones that have been sold and marketed as dietary supplements, it has sometimes worked to the advantage of drug-tested professional athletes.

Cabrera, or at least one of his associates, decided to put his own creative twist on the supplement-caused-me-to-test-positive-for-steroids defense. In reality, the supplement blamed for causing Cabrera to fail the steroid test didn’t really exist. It was a fictitious product create explicitly for the purpose of explaining the steroid positive to the MLB and MLB Players Association.

Juan Nunez, the apparent collaborator in the hoax, even went so far as to acquire a fake supplement website and add a nonexistent product (i.e. a topical testosterone-boosting cream) along with online advertisements promoting it.

Unfortunately for Cabrera and Nunez, the rouse was very amateurish and transparent. It was quickly exposed by the MLB. The MLB consequently enforced the 50-game suspension for Cabrera.

Like most “crimes”, the “cover-up” often is more serious than the actual transgression itself. The hoax has brought scrutiny upon Cabrera’s agents, Seth and Sam Levinson, as well as their sports agency. In an email to the New York Daily News, Athletes’ Career Enhanced and Secured Incorporated (ACES) has denied any association with the website hoax.

“Sam and I absolutely had no knowledge or dealings with anyone at anytime associated with the website,” said Seth Levinson. “I will state unequivocally and irrefutably that any payment made to the website does not come from ACES.”

Nunez, the mastermind of the rouse, was a “paid consultant” for ACES. But Nunez corroborated Levinson’s statement that ACES had no involvement in the creative-but-unsuccessful Internet subterfuge.

“I was the only one who had dealings with the website,” Nunez said. “Neither Seth nor Sam had any dealings with the website, nor did anyone else in the firm.”

The fallout of the hoax may not be limited to the suspension of Cabrera and the embarrassment of ACES. Jeff Novitzky, the steroid witch-hunter with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is reportedly investigating the incident according to the Daily News. Could Cabrera facing criminal charges as a result of the hoax?

Photo credit: X Wad via Wikipedia


Thompson, T. et al. (August 19, 2012). Exclusive: Daily News uncovers bizarre plot by San Francisco Giants’ Melky Cabrera to use fake website and duck drug suspension. Retrieved from