MLB explores agents' alleged link to PED dealer

MLB explores agents' alleged link to PED dealer

MLB explores agents' alleged link to PED dealer
Major League Baseball is investigating whether agents Sam and Seth Levinson acted as liaisons between former All-Star catcher Paul Lo Duca and admitted steroid distributor Kirk Radomski, MLB.com has confirmed.

The story first appeared in USA Today.

A well-placed source noted that, while both Major League Baseball and federal authorities are looking into the matter, this is an ongoing investigation and no conclusions have been reached at this point. The source also said this recent development stems from a story in the New York Daily News on Aug. 19 that said Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera, who had just been suspended for use of performance-enhancing substances, tried to escape punishment by creating a fake website advertising a non-existent product to indicate that he unknowingly took a banned substance.

Cabrera also is represented by the Levinson's ACES Inc. Both agents have adamantly denied any involvement.

According to USA Today, Lo Duca alleges that he was introduced to Radomski by the Levinsons. When the Mitchell Report was released in December 2007, it documented copies of three checks to Radomski for $3,200 each. USA Today reported that it has a copy of one check from a joint account between Lo Duca and Sam Levinson imprinted with the address of the agent's Brooklyn offices.

Radomski is a former Mets clubhouse attendant; Lo Duca played for the Mets in 2006 and '07.

The Daily News reported that federal agents have been looking into Cabrera's associates to try to determine the source of the synthetic testosterone that was detected in the urine sample of the 2012 All-Star Game's Most Valuable Player.

One Cabrera insider, Juan Nunez, allegedly paid $10,000 to set up the bogus website. Nunez has been described as a "paid consultant" of Aces Inc. He told the Daily News that the agents had absolutely no connection to the scheme.

USA Today further reported that MLB's probe also is focusing on a former Venezuelan bodybuilder named Cesar Paublini, who is now Cabrera's Miami-based trainer. Paublini told the paper that he had not been contacted by investigators at this point, but added that Cabrera had introduced him to Juan Nunez.

Finally, the paper said, MLB would like to question Lo Duca to determine whether he was a paid consultant for ACES Inc.

Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.