Massive Year-Long Investigation into Internet Sales of Steroids & hGH Implicates Pro Athletes
A large Albany-based grand jury investigation into the sale of steroids and human growth hormone (hGH) over the internet culminated today in the raid of a Florida pharmacy and the indictment of two owners of a pharmacy in Alabama. Investigators said over twenty-four people would be arrested in the coming days including six doctors and three pharmacists.
Two separate Signature Pharmacy locations, both in Orlando, Florida, were raided. Jason Grimsley reportedly was a customer. Four people, the two owners of Signature, Pharmacists and husband and wife, Stan and Naomi Loomis, Stan’s brother Kenneth Michael Loomis (also a pharmacist) and marketing director, Kirk Calvert, were arrested. Albany District Attorney, David Soares’ office identified Signature as a “producer” of the illegally distributed drugs.
In Mobile, Alabama, two owners of Applied Pharmacy Services have been indicted by the Albany County Grand Jury. Their clientele reportedly includes Los Angeles Angels centerfielder, Gary Matthews Jr., and Jose Canseco, an admitted steroid user, among others.
Three people the District Attorney’s Office described as “distributors” were also arrested. All three worked for Cellular Nucleonic Advantage, a company based in Sugarland, Texas.
The Albany Times Union has learned that the investigation has been going for a year, and has been kept quiet until now as to not compromise the investigation.
According to the Times Union, investigators reportedly
“uncovered evidence that testosterone and other performance-enhancing drugs may have been fraudulently prescribed over the Internet to current and former Major League Baseball players, National Football League players, college athletes, high school coaches, a former Mr. Olympia champion and another leading contender in the bodybuilding competition.”
“More than two dozen doctors, pharmacists and business owners have been, or will be, arrested in the coming days in Alabama, Texas, Florida and New York on sealed indictments charging them with various felonies for unlawfully distributing steroids and other controlled substances, records show.”
A law enforcement source involved in that investigation told the Times Union that authorities have not identified what types of products allegedly were ordered by Matthews or Canseco. Matthews reportedly was informed that his name would appear in the story before his spring training game Tuesday.
Los Angeles Angels Vice President of Communications, Tim Mead said manager Mike Scioscia told Matthews about the report, and that general manager Bill Stoneman and Mead spoke to Matthews.
We strongly recommended that Gary inform his agent and make sure he’s aware as well. There’s nothing much to say. A name is mentioned. It’s sketchy at best… Certainly as we acquire more information, we’ll look into it.”
Matthews Jr. addressed the issue from spring training.
“I do expect it to resolve itself here in the near future. … Until we get more information, I just can’t comment on it.”
Jason Grimsley, the former journeyman pitcher who left baseball last year after mail-order human growth hormone was seized at his Scottsdale home by federal agents from San Francisco. Grimsley has not been charged with any crimes, but last year he described widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball to federal agents.
In an affidavit by federal agent, Jeff Novitzky, who questioned Grimsley, the agent said Grimsley claimed another player had advised Grimsley on how to obtain human growth hormone from a “wellness center” in Florida. Former Baltimore Orioles first baseman, David Segui, later admitted to being that player. Segui went on ESPN and said his human growth hormone use was ‘legal’ as it was prescribed by a doctor.
The Albany district attorney’s office reportedly pursued the case because New York State has some of the strictest prescription drug laws in the country, and because Signature Pharmacy did $10 million in business in New York.
Soares reportedly said the investigation began after an Albany doctor was arrested for allegedly trafficking in narcotics online.
Some more Non-Baseball Details from the Internet Steroid and hGH Bust
*In New York, investigators have interviewed the host of a popular cable television program, sources said.
*Evander Holyfield’s name was also connected to Applied Pharmacy Services. A source involved in that investigation said authorities have not identified what types of products allegedly ordered by Holyfield, whom they said used the name “Evan Fields” when placing orders.
*Last month, a New York investigator who has been tracking suspicious purchases from Signature interviewed Richard A. Rydze, a top physician for the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers about why he allegedly used a personal credit card to purchase roughly $150,000 in testosterone and human growth hormone – Kalpatropin in 2006. Rydze, who won a silver medal in platform diving in the 1972 Olympics, told the investigator that the drugs were for his private patients. Rydze is an internist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and a consulting physician for the FBI and the Federal Aviation Administration.
*According to Sports Illustrated, Carl Metzger, narcotics commander for Orlando’s Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation said the search revealed a “raid card” at numerous Signature Pharmacy employees’ desks with contact information for lawyers. The top of the documents identified it as a Food and Drug Administration/Drug Enforcement Agency telephone list, but only lawyers were on the card.
“We found that to be somewhat interesting. Why would you need to have something entitled a phone call list for the DEA and FDA with lawyers’ names if you have nothing to hide?”