A new report at Sports Illustrated claims Gary Matthews Jr. was not only on a customer list from Applied Pharmacy Services in Mobile, Alabama, but he ordered a shipment of human growth hormone (hGH) in 2004. Reporters Luis Fernando Llosa and L. Jon Wertheim have been tracking the investigation of an illegal steroid distribution network that has implicated pro athletes for Sports Illustrated
The reporters said it’s already become clear that a number of high-profile athletes will be asked to explain why performance-enhancing drugs including human growth hormone and anabolic steroids were prescribed in their names and, in some cases, sent to them through a system that investigators say is illegal.
When asked specifically about Gary Matthews Jr., the reporters said they had more information.
“According to law enforcement documents we’ve reviewed, Matthews is not just on a customer list, as was reported Tuesday. In August 2004, he was allegedly sent Genotropin — a brand of synthetic human growth hormone typically prescribed to children suffering from growth failure — at an address in Mansfield, Texas. We traced the address and it is the residence of a former minor league teammate of Matthews’, who told us that he is friends with Matthews.”
It is impossible to know whether or not Matthews ever actually took the drugs, but it’s hard to envision a reason someone in the Major Leagues would take such a risk if it weren’t to benefit himself.
It appears highly unlikely that Major League Baseball will take any action against Matthews Jr. Although Jason Grimsley was given a 50-game suspension in 2006 without ever failing a test after 2003’s anonymous testing, Matthews involvement with human growth hormone was from 2004, the year before baseball added it to its banned list.