SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The Major League Baseball Commissioner’s Office said Wednesday that San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera has received a 50-game suspension without pay after testing positive for testosterone, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

The suspension of Cabrera is effective immediately and runs through the final 45 games of the regular season. Cabrera would serve the remainder of the suspension at the start of next season or during the postseason, if Giants make the playoffs.

Cabrera released the following statement after word of the positive drug test: “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 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 starting left fielder was 2nd in the league with a .346 average, 11 home runs and 60 RBIs in his first season with the Giants and was leading the league in hits. Last month, the 28-year-old Cabrera was named Most Valuable Player after the National League’s victory in the All-Star game.

The Giants released the following statement following the news:
“We were extremely disappointed to learn of the suspension of Melky Cabrera for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention & 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.”

Cabrera is the second Giants player to be suspended for drugs this season. Reliever Guillermo Mota received a 100-game drug suspension in May, after testing positive for the second time in his career.

Philadelphia infielder Freddy Galvis and free agent outfielder Marlon Byrd were also suspended 50 games apiece this season. There have been 70 suspensions under the minor league drug program.

The 28-year-old Cabrera, who became a marketing phenomenon with nicknames like “Got Melk?” “Melk Man” and “Melky Way,” produced a 51-hit month in May. Cabrera batted .429 in May with three homers, five triples, seven doubles and 17 RBIs. He hit safely in 25 of 29 games. The 51 hits matched Randy Winn for most hits in a month since the club came to San Francisco in 1958.

Cabrera also set the San Francisco record for most hits in May, passing Hall of Famer Willie Mays’ 49 from 1958.

Cabrera came to the Giants in a trade with Kansas City last November that sent left-hander Jonathan Sanchez to the Royals.

Cabrera — who signed a $6 million, one-year deal to avoid salary arbitration — batted .305 with 44 doubles, 18 homers and 87 RBIs last season.

He is a big reason San Francisco began play Wednesday tied with the Los Angeles Dodgers atop the NL West.

San Francisco said it wouldn’t make a roster move until Thursday’s off day before opening a weekend series at San Diego.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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