After Melky Cabrera tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs and received a 50 game suspension from Major League Baseball, he was praised by many (including me) for at least making a forthright admission of guilt, in contrast with most PED cheaters; it turns out that Cabrera is in fact not only a cheater but also a liar as well: he only offered his heartfelt confession and apology after first coming up with an elaborate and yet ridiculous scheme to give himself plausible deniability. Cabrera and some of his associates constructed a fake website about a fake supplement to try to create an alibi after MLB's drug testers discovered Cabrera's elevated testosterone levels.
ESPN's Tim Keown declares that this sordid saga proves two things:
1) MLB's drug testing program works
2) PEDs work
The potential payoff for PED cheaters is staggering; Keown, echoing a point that I made in my original article about Cabrera's suspension, declares, "And make no mistake: Cabrera shook the dice, blew into his hands and let fly. Had his testosterone enhancement gone undetected, it's possible he could have been in line for a nine-figure free-agent heist in the offseason." That at least calls into question Keown's first assertion; perhaps he is right that the drug testing program works and that PEDs are so effective that some players are reckless enough--or stupid enough--to risk getting caught but one could also plausibly argue that guys like Cabrera, Manny Ramirez and Ryan Braun (who tested positive but was cleared on a procedural technicality) represent just the tip of a massive iceberg of PED cheating. Keown's second point is indisputable: PEDs work and that is why so many unscrupulous athletes take them.