Ho hum, another day, another
superstar journeyman named by Sports Illustrated as a former customer of an Orlando-based online supplier of Human Growth Hormone. From SI.com’s Luis Fernando Llosa and L. Jon Wertheim :
A source in Florida with knowledge of Signature Pharmacy’s client list alleges that between October 2003 and July 2005, Gibbons received six separate shipments of Genotropin (a brand name for synthetic Human Growth Hormone), two shipments of testosterone and two shipments of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), a hormone produced naturally during pregnancy, but taken by anabolic steroid users to stimulate the production of testosterone, which is suppressed as a result of steroid use. The information regarding Gibbons only pertains to receipt and not actual use of the drugs.
Testosterone was banned by MLB in 2003, the same year baseball initiated steroids testing. HGH was added to the banned list in January 2005, but Gibbons allegedly received a shipment in July of that year. (HCG is not banned.) The prescriptions were written in Gibbons’ name and sent to a Gilbert, Ariz., address that traces to the player.
The drugs were obtained through South Beach Rejuvenation Center/Modern Therapy, a Miami Beach anti-aging clinic, and were processed by Signature. Of the two prescribing physicians in Gibbons’ file, one was A. Almarashi. Investigators believe Almarashi is an alias for a Queens, N.Y., doctor, Ana Maria Santi, who was stripped of her medical license in 1999, but continued writing bogus prescriptions for thousands of on-line customers she never examined. In July 2007, Santi pleaded guilty to a felony count of criminal diversion of prescription medications and prescriptions, making her the first person to do so in a case spearheaded by the Albany County (NY) District Attorneys office and New York State’s Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement.
The “Almarashi” signature was also affixed to prescriptions for Genotropin and human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) allegedly sent to Texas Rangers outfielder Jerry Hairston Jr. in 2004. In Hairston’s case, the drugs originated from a compound pharmacy in Alabama, according to documents reviewed by SI, but similar to the Gibbons’ case, the information pertained only to the receipt of and not actual use of the drugs. Moreover, Genotropin was not yet banned by MLB.
Though Gibbons was one of the players named in the redacted Jayson Grimsley affidavit, it would be highly unfair for us to presume that additional figures fingered by Grimsley — for instance, Roger Clemens — were also amongst Signature’s clients.