Rocker Denies Receiving HGH Prescription

Thursday, March 8th 2007, 5:56 am
By: News On 6

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ Former major league relief pitcher John Rocker told ESPN Radio on Wednesday he never bought human growth hormone with a prescription.

On Tuesday, reported Rocker showed up on a client list of Applied Pharmacy, a Mobile, Ala., company raided in connection with a nationwide investigation into the illegal sale of steroids.

``I never had a prescription for any HGH,'' Rocker told ESPN Radio's ``The Herd.'' ``If somebody's got a beef to make with me, show me a prescription.'' reported Rocker received two prescriptions for somatropin, a form of HGH, between April and July 2003.

``I was trying to pitch all the way up until a week before I had my surgery. And obviously feeling as bad as I was, I called every doctor I could (to find out) what can I do to strengthen my shoulder and give me more arm strength,' Rocker told ESPN Radio. ``Every one of them said go to a GNC, buy something over the counter, human growth hormone, these very several amino acids ... basically (that) is the way it's done.''

Rocker's publicist told the Daily News the pitcher admitted taking HGH, now banned by Major League Baseball, for medical reasons.

``That was a growth hormone that was prescribed by a doctor in relation to his rotator cuff surgery in 2003, so I don't really think there is anything to the story,'' publicist Debi Curzio said in Wednesday's editions. also reported that major leaguer David Bell, 1996 Olympic wrestling gold-medalist Kurt Angle, and Victor Martinez, winner of the latest Ohio bodybuilding competition named for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, were Applied Pharmacy clients.

Bell told he received the shipment of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) last April but said the drug was prescribed ``for a medical condition,'' which he declined to disclose.

As additional athletes were linked to the scandal, two more people were arraigned Tuesday on drug-related charges.

Steven and Karen Lampert of Anti-Aging Centers in Nanuet pleaded not guilty in an Albany County, N.Y., courtroom and were released without bail. They are charged with submitting prescriptions to a Florida pharmacy _ some ``obviously forged'' according to the district attorney _ for drugs totaling more than $50,000 for people without a medical need.

Steven Lampert is charged with 20 counts, his wife with two.

``It seems as though our clients have much less involvement than the others,'' said Jay Golland, a lawyer for Karen Lampert.

Prosecutors describe the Lamperts as ``criminal associates'' of Signature Pharmacy in Orlando, Fla. Albany County District Attorney David Soares says Signature was at the center of a web of businesses and doctors that illegally wrote prescriptions for steroids.

The arraignments come a day after not guilty pleas were entered in Albany by 11 other defendants, including four Signature Pharmacy officials.

Soares acknowledged that Martinez was an ``unindicted co-conspirator'' in the case and is linked to the Lamperts' Anti-Aging Centers. Martinez won the Arnold Classic bodybuilding competition Saturday in Ohio.

A spokesman for Schwarzenegger said he wants bodybuilders to stop using steroids.

``He's clearly opposed to these steroids,'' said Aaron McLear. ``And he's working with top officials in the bodybuilding community to come up with a system where they rid the sport of steroids.''

Martinez told The New York Times he bought testosterone from the Lamperts after their clinic told him he had low levels of the hormone. He also said the company asked him to become a partner, but he declined.

``I didn't trust them, and other people were warning me not to do business with them,'' he told the Times.

Calls placed by The Associated Press to Jim Lorimer, a bodybuilding promoter and co-creator of the Arnold Classic, were not immediately returned.