Derrick Rose refutes ESPN Mag quote

Updated: May 23, 2011, 2:18 AM ET
ESPNChicago.com

Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose denied Sunday an ESPN The Magazine report quoting him as saying performance enhancing drugs are a "huge" problem in the NBA.

Rose was one of several professional athletes asked the following question by ESPN the Magazine for its May 16 issue: "If 1 equals 'What are PEDs (Performance Enhancing Drugs)'? and 10 equals 'Everybody's Juicing' ... How big of an issue is illegal enhancing in your sport?"

In response, Rose said, "Seven. It's huge, and I think we need a level playing field, where nobody has that advantage over the next person."

Rose issued a statement through the team on Sunday afternoon denying the quote.

"Regarding the quote attributed to me in ESPN The Magazine, I do not recall making the statement nor do I recall the question being asked," Rose said. "If that was my response to any question, I clearly misunderstood what was asked of me.

"But, let me be clear, I do not believe there is a performance enhancing drug problem in the NBA."

Rose added later: "If there was [a drug problem] ... we get tested four times so it would definitely show up or something. There's definitely not a drug problem in the NBA."

Rose, the NBA's MVP this season, helped the Bulls take on the Miami Heat in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals on Sunday. The series is tied 1-1.

He claimed the comments wouldn't be a distraction Sunday night.

"I'm fine. I'm fine," Rose said. "Of course you definitely don't want to go through this, but things like this happen and I clarified things. Now I'm just worried about the game."

ESPNChicago.com's Nick Friedell contributed to this report.

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