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Melky Cabrera suspended 50 games for banned substance

San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera reacts after

San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera reacts after striking out during the first inning of a game against the San Diego Padres. (June 5, 2012) Credit: AP

San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera has been suspended 50 games for using a performance enhancing substance, the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced Wednesday afternoon.

Cabrera, 27, tested positive for testosterone and is suspended without pay effective immediately.

"My positive test was the result of my use of a substance I should not have used," Cabrera said in a statement issued by the Players Union. "I accept my suspension under the Joint Drug Program and 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."

The Giants released their own statement on the matter:

"We were extremely disappointed to learn of the suspension of Melky Cabrera for violating Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. We fully support Major League Baseball's policy and its efforts to eliminate performance enhancing drugs from our game. Per the protocol outline by Major League Baseball's Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Giants will not comment further on this matter."

The Giants have 45 games remaining this season, meaning that Cabrera will miss the remainder of the regular season and at least the National League Division Series, should the Giants make it that far.

The former Yankee was named MVP of the 2012 All-Star game and is eligible for free agency after the season. He is hitting .346 and leads all of MLB in hits with 159. He has scored a league-leading 84 runs and has 11 home runs.

Cabrera played with the Yankees from 2005-2009, winning a World Series during his final season with the team. But his inconsistent performance, and the emergence of Brett Gardner, led the Yankees to trade Cabrera to Atlanta following the 2009 season in a deal that netted New York Javier Vazquez.

Cabrera hit .255 with just four home runs for the Braves in 2010 and was non-tendered following the season.

He signed with Kansas City before the 2011 season and enjoyed a strong campaign, hitting .305 with 18 home runs. But the Royals sought starting pitching and traded Cabrera to the Giants for starter Jonathan Sanchez.

The Giants enter Wednesday tied with the Dodgers for first place in the NL West.

Reports surfaced last week that the Giants and Cabrera had discontinued any long-term contract talks.

Cabrera is the second member of the Giants to be suspended for using a banned substance this season. Reliever Guillermo Mota received a 100-game suspension in May. He's expected back later this month.

New York Sports