Two more former major league baseball players were reported to be on Applied Pharmacy Services customer list. The pharmacy in Mobile, Alabama is one of the pharmacies that was raided as part of an ongoing grand jury investigation into the sale of drugs including steroids and growth hormones over the internet. Sports Illustrated’s in-depth coverage led by reporters, Luis Fernando Llosa and L. Jon Wertheim has now turned up former Braves closer, John Rocker and former Philies third baseman, David Bell.
"No birth date was indicated on the prescriptions, but according to the Applied database, former Atlanta Braves reliever John Rocker received two prescriptions for somatropin between April and July 2003."
Initially, Rocker’s publicist, Debi Curzio, confirmed to the New York Daily News that Rocker had received the human growth hormone, but said that Rocker had attained it with a valid prescription and used 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"
Later, on ESPN Radio’s “The Herd” Rocker contradicted Curzio:
"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. 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."
"I never had a prescription for any HGH. If somebody's got a beef to make with me, show me a prescription."
Former Philies third baseman, David Bell, ordered and received Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) from Applied Pharmacy in April 2006.
“David Bell, a veteran of a dozen major league seasons, received six packages of HCG at a Philadelphia address last April, when he played for the Phillies. The cost was $128.80, and the drug was prescribed in conjunction with an Arizona antiaging facility.”
When Bell spoke to Sports Illustrated he admitted receiving the hCG, but said it was for “a medical condition” he declined to disclose due to privacy concerns.
HCG is a peptide hormone produced by women during pregnancy. HCG used as medication is either derived from the urine of pregnant women (brand names Pregnyl®, Follutein®, Profasi®, and Novarel®), or a recombinant synthetic version (Ovidrel®). Typically hGC is used in treatments to induce ovulation in women or testosterone production in men.
HCG is not a steroid or growth hormone, rather for athletes it is a drug generally used with anabolic steroids. When males take anabolic steroids their bodies cease their own production of testosterone. HCG helps restore/maintain testosterone production in the testes and it typically is used during and after cycles of steroids.