|MLB asks to meet with Rick Ankiel and Troy Glaus after reports link them to Florida pharmacy|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 07 September 2007 23:03|
Ankiel, who has hit nine homers since rejoining the St. Louis Cardinals last month, received eight shipments of human growth hormone from January to December 2004, the New York Daily News reported Friday.
Glaus, a four-time All-Star now with the Toronto Blue Jays, received multiple shipments of nandrolone and testosterone between September 2003 and May 2004, SI.com reported.
``We're going to look into both sets of allegations,'' said Rob Manfred, baseball's executive vice president of labor relations.
Manfred would not go into details, but MLB already had requested meetings with the two players, a person familiar with the request said, speaking on condition of anonymity because no announcement was made.
Michael Weiner, the general counsel of the players' union, declined comment.
Initially in a brief session with reporters Friday before the Cardinals' game in Phoenix, Ankiel acknowledged HGH was among the medications he was prescribed following elbow surgery in 2004. Later in the interview, he refused to identify any of the medications he took.
``All and any medications that I've received in my career has always been under a doctor's care, a licensed physician.''
HGH was not banned by baseball until 2005. Ankiel said he would cooperate with any investigation.
Ankiel sat beside Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty in the visitors' dugout at Chase Field as he answered questions.
``Everything was legal,'' Jocketty said. ``There was no violation of major league rules. There was no violation of any laws.''
Glaus in St. Petersburg, Fla., for Toronto's game at Tampa Bay, did not stop when reporters tried to speak with him before and after batting practice. Mike Nicotera, Glaus's agent, did not return a telephone call seeking comment.
In May, the Yankees' Jason Giambi met with baseball lawyers after comments that many interpreted as an admission of steroids use. Baseball commissioner Bud Selig then pressured Giambi to meet with steroids investigator George Mitchell. After Giambi spoke with Mitchell in July, Selig announced Giambi would not be disciplined.
Giambi is the only active player known to have met with Mitchell, a Boston Red Sox director who is a former Senate Majority Leader. Players on the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers received letters Friday from Mitchell asking them to contact him with anything they might know about the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
``They're wasting paper,'' the Dodgers' Nomar Garciaparra said.
Because there isn't a validated urine test for HGH, there are suspicions in baseball that its use is on the rise. Baseball is helping fund attempts to develop a urine test for the substance.
Ankiel and Glaus both have had careers interrupted by injuries. Ankiel, a former pitcher turned outfielder, overcame elbow and knee injuries and made it back to the majors last month for the first time in three years. Glaus led the AL with 47 homers in 2000 and was MVP of the 2002 World Series for the Anaheim Angels, then missed large stretches in 2003 and 2004 because of shoulder problems.
Citing records the newspaper obtained, the Daily News said Ankiel got HGH shipments that included Saizen and Genotropin, two injectable drugs. Florida physician Dr. William Gogan signed Ankiel's prescriptions, providing them through a Palm Beach Gardens clinic called The Health and Rejuvenation Center (THARC), the newspaper reported.
The drugs were shipped to Ankiel at the clinic's address, the paper said. The 28-year-old Ankiel lives close by in Jupiter.
Ankiel said he was aware of the clinic.
``I don't know anything about the pharmacy,'' he said, ``and I don't know anyone there. I've never purchased or ordered anything from that pharmacy.''
Glaus received shipments at a Corona, Calif., address that traces to the player, SI.com said., citing a source in Florida with knowledge of a Signature Pharmacy client list. SI.com said its information dealt only with receipt of steroids and not use.
Prescriptions written in Glaus' name were obtained through New Hope Health Center, a California-based clinic and were sent through Signature, SI.com said. The prescribing physician was Dr. Ramon Scruggs, currently on probation and prohibited from prescribing drugs over the Internet, SI.com said.
Authorities have not accused Ankiel of any wrongdoing, the newspaper said. According to the Signature records the News cited, he stopped receiving HGH just before baseball banned it in 2005.
According to the Daily News, THARC also shipped steroids and growth hormone to ex-big league pitcher Steve Woodard. He and Ankiel were teammates with the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds in 2004, the paper said.
Woodard didn't return cell phone messages, the News said.
Signature is at the center of an investigation by the Albany County (N.Y.) district attorney's office. The probe recently led to the NFL suspensions of New England Patriots safety Rodney Harrison and Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson. The third NFL person involved in the investigation was Dr. Richard Ryzde, one of the Pittsburgh Steelers' team doctors. He earlier had been fired by the team.
AP Sports Writers Bob Baum in Phoenix and Janie McCauley in San Francisco and AP freelance writer Mark Didtler in St. Petersburg contributed to this report.