Melky associate banned from private ballpark areas
Nunez reportedly suspected of being behind scheme to get Cabrera win on appeal
Major League Baseball has prohibited Juan Nunez, Melky Cabrera's associate, from having access to restricted areas of all 30 ballparks, according to reports published Tuesday.
Cabrera was suspended 50 games last Wednesday for testing positive for testosterone, a performance-enhancing substance. According to reports, first by ESPN.com and then The Associated Press, MLB sent a memo to all 30 teams on Tuesday to ban Nunez, who reportedly concocted a plan to use a fake supplement from a phony website to excuse Cabrera's positive test.
The notice prohibits clubs from allowing Nunez inside their "clubhouses or any other non-public areas of their ballparks."
MLB has not confirmed Nunez's alleged participation in the scheme, though it is reportedly investigating his "misconduct related to a recent matter under the joint drug program."
Nunez has been linked to ACES Inc., a Brooklyn, N.Y., sports agency, though he is not certified as an agent by the MLB Players Association. Therefore, the directive reportedly cautions teams to avoid contract negotiations with Nunez or any dealings with him on behalf of a player.
Officials foiled the plot before Cabrera could challenge the positive test. The Giants outfielder issued this statement upon the announcement of his suspension: "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."
Cabrera, 28, was enjoying the best offensive season of his career. In 113 games in his first season with San Francisco, he batted .346 with 11 home runs and 60 RBIs. He was named the All-Star Game's Most Valuable Player after slugging a two-run homer in the National League's 8-0 triumph. He is eligible for free agency at the end of the season.