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Friday, March 09, 2007

Darren Holmes Ordered Human Growth Hormone from Palm Beach Rejuvenation Center (PBRC)

Sports Illustrated reporters, Luis Fernando Llosa and L. Jon Wertheim have uncovered yet another former major league baseball player who reportedly acquired performance-enhancing drugs this time from the Palm Beach Rejuvenation Center (PBRC). The PBRC did $17 million worth of business with Signature Pharmacy, one of the pharmacies raided in February at the center of the internet performance-enhancing drug distribution investigation.

"According to documents we've reviewed, Darren Holmes -- a former major league pitcher for 13 seasons with eight teams (including five years with the Rockies) -- received somatropin (the generic name for synthetically produced HGH) and testosterone through Palm Beach Rejuvenation in October 2003. The order was shipped to Holmes in Arden, N.C., but was billed to the PBRC."

Sports Illustrated contacted Holmes, who last played for the Atlanta Braves in 2003.

"He was very up front with us and admitted ordering and receiving the HGH. He says the testosterone was included -- unsolicited, he says -- in the package. He says he ordered the growth hormone after trolling the Internet and looking for an alternative cure to his shoulder pain. "I'm being as honest as I can," he says. "[When the box came] my wife looked at me and said, 'Are you sure you really want to do this?' I said, 'You know what, I'm not comfortable. I don't know if this is right for me.'" He says the unsolicited testosterone made him particularly skeptical. "I threw the box away and never used it."

This is an interesting twist taken at face value. The idea that testosterone would be shipped along with human growth hormone without the customer/patient’s knowledge implies that the PBRC was not just selling drugs but doping athletes. It’s tantamount to sending a steroid cocktail to a professional athlete. Holmes’ take is somewhat more believable than others as he received the shipment after what would be his final season in the major leagues and seemed to be quite candid with Llosa and Wertheim.

 
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