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Saturday, September 08, 2007

Report: Glaus received steroids

September 7, 2007

NEW YORK (Ticker) - Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Troy Glaus received multiple shipments of performance-enhancing steroids through an allegedly illegal distribution network, Sports Illustrated reported on its web site Friday.

Citing a source in Florida familiar with the client list of the the Signature Pharmacy, SI.com reported that Glaus - a former World Series MVP and four-time All-Star - received multiple shipments of nandrolone and testosterone between September 2003 and May 2004 when he was with the Anaheim Angels. Both substances were on Major League Baseball's banned list at that time.

The story comes on the same day that the New York Daily News reported that St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Rick Ankiel received multiple shipments of human growth hormone from a separate source.

SI.com's source claims to have seen prescriptions in Glaus' named that were obtained through the New Hope Health Center, a California-based anti-aging clinic which advertises the sale of anabolic steroids and human growth hormones on its web site.

Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon, who was a coach with Anaheim when Glaus played there from 1998-2004, defended the player.

"I support Troy and have no idea what's going on in regards to this," Maddon said. "We'd go out and have a little dinner once in a while. I have a lot of respect for him, I just don't know enough about what's been put out there today.

"He's good people and he's a really good friend of mine."

That prescription is said to have been processed by Signature. The prescribing physician is identified by SI.com as Ramon Scruggs, who the Medical Board of California names as being on probation and as prohibited from prescribing via the internet.

Glaus was named World Series MVP in 2002, but has been regarded as injury prone in recent seasons. This season, Glaus is hitting .263 with 20 home runs and 62 RBI, but he has been hampered by foot problems.

When told by reporters that the allegations of the steroid use came when both Glaus and Maddon were with the Angels, Tampa Bay's manager maintained his support.

"I never suspected anything when we were in California," Maddon said. "I did not suspect anything. There was no suspicion, he's a good friend and a good man."

Earlier on Friday, the New York Daily News reported that Ankiel received a 12-month supply of human growth hormone in 2004 from a Florida pharmacy that was part of a national illegal prescription drug-distribution operation.

That story came just hours after Ankiel belted a pair of home runs and drove in seven runs in the Cardinals' 16-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

According to records obtained by The Daily News, which cited sources close to the controversy surrounding anti-aging clinics that dispense illegal prescription drugs, Ankiel received eight shipments of HGH from Signature Pharmacy in Orlando from January to December 2004.

Signature is the pharmacy at the center of a two-year investigation of illegal Internet prescription drug sales by Albany District Attorney David Soares.

That same probe ensnared New England Patriots strong safety Rodney Harrison, who last week admitted to using human growth hormones and was suspended four games by the NFL.

The Boston Globe reported that Harrison bought the HGH from the Palm Beach Rejuvenation Center.

According to The Daily News, Ankiel's prescriptions were signed by a Florida physician who provided them through a Palm Beach Gardens clinic called "The Health and Rejuvenation Center," or "THARC."

Ankiel lives in nearby Jupiter, Florida.

THARC also provided a shipment of steroids and growth hormone to former major league pitcher Steve Woodard, who was a teammate of Ankiel at Class AAA Memphis in 2004.

Heather Orth, director of communications for Soares' office, told PA SportsTicker on Friday that the investigation is looking at a number of clinics linked to Signature, but that THARC is not among them.

The 28-year-old Ankiel, who also hit a two-run homer Wednesday, is batting .358 (29-for-81) with nine home runs and 29 RBI in 23 games since returning to the majors on August 9.

It has been a remarkable turnaround for a player who gained notoriety for throwing nine wild pitches in four innings during the 2000 playoffs - an outing that essentially led to the demise of his pitching career.

The startling rebirth of Ankiel's career has drawn comparisons to Babe Ruth and Roy Hobbs, but the feel-good story of the year may be coming to a crashing halt.

An elbow sprain forced Ankiel to miss the 2002 season, and he underwent "Tommy John" surgery in July 2003. The lefthander returned to the Cardinals as a reliever in 2004, but pitched in only five games.

He ended his pitching career and switched to the outfield in 2005, but he injured his knee before the 2006 season, underwent knee surgery and missed the entire year.


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