Could the NFL be on the verge of a steroids expplosion similar to the one Major League Baseball is still working it's way through? If news released yesterday is correct it might actually be worse. I am sure you have all heard about it, I just wanted to wait a day to see what all came out. If you haven't, ohhh man, are you in for a shock.
Take a moment and check out the Story Here. The Cliff's notes version is as follows --
A pharmacy in Orlando Florida was raided yesterday as part of a huge drug investigation centered in New York State. It focuses on Pharmacies and web-sites that have been selling illegal drugs like steriods and Human Growth Hormone(HGH) to thousands of people across the nation, including professional athletes in professional sports.
Over two dozen doctors and pharmacists have been or will be arrested as part of the investigation, with doctors being accused of writing fraudulent perscriptions over the internet for as little as $25/each.
Investigators 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, and a former Mr. Olympia champion and another top contender in the bodybuilding competition.
Of particular interest to the NFL and it's fans is the name of Dr. Richard A. Rydze. He is a top phycisian of the Pittsburgh Steelers and he was recently questioned by investigators for purchasing nearly $150,000 in HGH and testosterone last year alone from Signature Pharmacy. The Steelers have long been linked to steroid use in the NFL, with former Saints coach Jim Haslett going so far as saying it was rampid during the 70's and 80's.
The doctor is not accused of breaking any laws, but the fact that he charged the purchases to his personal credit card, a practice used to avoid insurance detection, did raise a red flag to investigators. "I've never seen a doctor pull out his or her own credit card ... it just doesn't make sense," said Carmen Catizone, executive director of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy "Unless you are trying to build frequent-flyer miles on a credit card, I'm not sure why they'd be using a personal credit card
Though Dr. Rydze paid $150,000 for the drugs the retail value of the product is almost $750,000. Rydze tends to Steeler's players at home and away games.
Similar to the Balco investigation, the client list for Signature Pharmacy is long and may never be released in full, but names already leaked, such as baseball players Jason Grimsley and David Segui, lead me to believe whoever is on that list is a juicer.
Some names coming out as related to the case are Gary Mathews Jr. of the Dodgers and boxer Evander Holyfield.
Oh, and one last thing. Signature cleared about $500,000 grand in 2002. In 2006? $35 million. What do you think is going on????
I have to be honest. The NFL could be in some trouble here. The League has been given a pass so far when it comes to steroids. If it comes to light that there are big names on this list, or that a player's performance improved drastically and is on the list I would have to imagine there will be a similar outcry to what we saw in baseball.
Something to keep our eye on, no matter what team you root for.