With his career fast fading in 2003, loudmouth pitcher John Rocker of Atlanta Braves and 7-Train fame turned to human growth hormone.
His publicist, responding to an inquiry by the Daily News, said Rocker admitted taking HGH, now prohibited by Major League Baseball, but insisted he needed the controversial substance for medical reasons. His name emerged today in a wide-ranging investigation originating in the Albany County District Attorney’s office into a nationwide prescription drug ring in which more than a dozen people have been indicted.
“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,” said Debi Curzio, Rocker’s publicist.
Human growth hormone, however, is not normally used as post-surgical therapy, numerous medical experts have said. Medically it is prescribed for people with pituitary problems, AIDS “wasting” disease and other growth-related issues. If Rocker had needed the drug, it is unclear why he would have turned to Allied Pharmacy of Mobile, Ala., one of five pharmacies caught up in the alleged Internet steroid and HGH scandal over the last week.
Former WWE champ Kurt Angle — last seen in this space taking batting practice with Albert Pujols, was also named in the SI story noted by Quinn & O’Keefe. “Kurt Angle, a 1996 Olympic gold-medal-winning freestyle wrestler and now a star professional wrestler, received two prescriptions for trenbolone and one for nandrolone between October 2004 and February ’05. (Angle did not return messages left with his spokesman.)”
Clearly, there’s only one way for the sporting powers-that-be to handle these revelations. Angle should immediately be disqualified from eligibility for the Baseball Hall Of Fame. And Will Leitch’s lone at bat against Rocker in 2006 should be stricken from the Baseball Encyclopedia.