While a final decision has not been reached yet, the Mexican League announced tonight that it is temporarily suspending Cuban outfielder Alfredo Despaigne.
The league called the disciplinary action a cautionary measure pending official word from Dominican authorities about the legality of Despaigne’s passport. Once the Mexican League hears back formally from the Dominican government, the league will make a final decision about Despaigne. That decision could come by Monday.
Despaigne has been playing for the Campeche Pirates on a Dominican passport, which Dominican authorities have told ESPN Deportes is a fraudulent document. The sanction means Despaigne won’t be able to play in Mexican League games, though since it’s a temporary suspension pending the outcome of the league’s investigation into Despaigne’s passport, it’s not a final ruling. The league could ultimately decide to either suspend Despaigne for a determined period of time or to determine that he is currently ineligible to play due to his paperwork.
The Mexican League will also investigate whether anyone from Campeche was involved in helping Despaigne procure a false passport, which could potentially include a lifetime ban from the league for any parties involved. Campeche released a statement today denying the team had been involved in any illegal activity.
Despaigne, who played for Campeche last year on a Cuban passport, made his 2014 debut in the league on April 23 and has hit .346/.407/.603 with five home runs in 20 games for the Pirates. This past season in Cuba, split between Granma in the first half and Santiago de Cuba in the second half, Despaigne batted .311/.474/.533 in 254 plate appearances to lead Serie Nacional in OPS.