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Friday, March 02, 2007

Jerry Hairston Jr. Ordered Human Growth Hormone from Applied Pharmacy Services

Another major league baseball player has been linked to the internet steroid and human growth hormone distribution investigation. The investigation out of the Albany District Attorney’s Office has already implicated Los Angeles Angels outfielder Gary Matthews Jr., retired players Jason Grimsley and Jose Canseco, as well as others from outside of baseball. Sports Illustrated reporters Luis Fernando Llosa and L. Jon Wertheim were the first to report specifically that Matthew Jr. had ordered human growth hormone and are now to report the same of Hairston Jr.

From Llosa and Wertheim's article on Hairston Jr. March 2, 2007:

“According to a law enforcement document we've reviewed, in May 2004, a doctor A. Almarashi of Queens prescribed Genotropin (human growth hormone) that was sent from Allied Pharmacy -- the compound pharmacy raided in Mobile, Ala., last fall -- to Rangers infielder Jerry Hairston, Jr.”

UPDATE: As of 4:35 pm, Si.com has corrected the apparent typo. Hairston received his human growth hormone from "Applied Pharmacy Services," the same pharmacy used by Gary Matthews Jr. The above quote has been revised to say "Applied Pharmacy Services" instead of "Allied Pharmacy."

It’s unclear at this point if “Allied Pharmacy” is a third pharmacy involved in the investigation, and the second out of Mobile, Alabama, or if it is simply a typo. According to SI.com it was “Applied Pharmacy Services” that reportedly sent human growth hormone to Gary Matthews Jr. in 2004.

Searches on Google, MSN, and Yahoo quickly showed a home page for “Applied Pharmacy Services” in Mobile, Alabama, but none had a page for “Allied Pharmacy.” Aside from an official home page, there was no prominent information indicating a pharmacy by that name at all. Given that this is internet drug distribution case it seems unlikely there would be no prominent page. Even if the site was removed (perhaps when the pharmacy was raided ‘last fall’) by government investigators, there would still be out-dated links to it, reviews, articles, or entries in lists of pharmacies, or a Yellow Pages entry, or something somewhere.

In response to the idea that there are likely many people with the name, Jerry Hairston, the Sports Illustrated reporters said:

“Investigators tell us the drugs were sent to addresses in Maryland and Arizona that trace to Jerry Hairston, Jr. Also the document we reviewed indicates that the birth date for the patient file was listed as May 29, 1976, but the prescription database indicates a DOB of May 29, 1967; Hairston Jr.'s birth date, according to MLB.com, is May 29, 1976. The document indicates investigators' belief that the last two numbers of the birth year as noted in the prescription database were inverted.”

This means there were at least two different shipments, one sent to Maryland and one to Arizona, both traceable to Hairston Jr.

Harriston's response to Sports Illustrated:

"It's disturbing... I have no idea what this is about. I'm really in the dark... Not one time have I taken steroids or anything like that. I would never do anything like that to jeopardize my career or my family's name... I know I'm going to be OK because I know what I've done and haven't done... I would never do anything to discredit the game. The game has been good not only to myself but my entire family."

The reporters fairly pointed out that these pharmacies are so crooked that it’s conceivable that someone could use the name of a professional baseball player (or anyone else) and still receive a bogus prescription for performance-enhancing drugs.

“No one is alleging the use of performance-enhancing drugs. This investigation is about a distribution pipeline. With respect to the athlete-clients, the allegation is that drugs were sent to them through a DEA-raided compound pharmacy. In theory, anyone could go to one of these anti-aging Web sites, register falsely under the name of a prominent athlete, and get a prescription for a banned substance in that athlete's name -- that's how shadowy some of the anti-aging clinics and prescribing doctors appear to be.”

 
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