BOSTON (AP) -Cleveland Indians pitcher Paul Byrd acknowledged using human growth hormone for a medical condition, but said he never took the drug without a doctor's prescription.
``I have nothing to hide,'' Byrd said Sunday about two hours before Game 7 of the AL championship series against the Boston Red Sox. ``Everything has been done out in the open.''
Byrd, whose win in Game 4 of the ALCS moved the Indians within one victory of the World Series, bought nearly $25,000 worth of HGH and syringes from 2002-05, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Sunday.
Byrd, known for his old-school windup and savvy on the mound, purchased HGH from a Palm Beach, Fla., anti-aging clinic under investigation by authorities for possible illegal distribution of performance-enhancing drugs, the paper said.
The Chronicle, citing an anonymous law enforcement source, said two of Byrd's prescriptions for growth hormone were not written by a physician.
Standing in front of a media throng outside the Indians' clubhouse, Byrd said he has a pituitary gland condition that required him to take HGH. Pressed on when he was diagnosed, Byrd declined several times to give any timeline on when he began using the drug, which is now banned by Major League Baseball and the International Olympic Committee.
``I have never taken any hormones or any drugs not prescribed to me,'' Byrd said.
Byrd was available to pitch out of the bullpen in Game 7, and was hoping his situation would not be a distraction for the Indians, who led the best-of-seven series 3-1 but had lost the past two games.
Byrd spoke to his teammates before the game. General manager Mark Shapiro said he was not made aware of Byrd's condition or the 36-year-old's use of HGH until Friday.
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