DA to send names linked to steroids to MLB, NFL

Updated: March 14, 2007, 12:47 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- The Albany, N.Y., district attorney conducting a nationwide dragnet into the illicit sale of steroids and human growth hormone will forward the names of athletes linked to the inquiry to pro sports leagues.

"We're going to be sending information to vet those names, see if they are who they say they are," David Soares first told the New York Daily News in Wednesday's editions.

Albany authorities declined to disclose Wednesday how many athletes have come up in the probe and which sports leagues will get letters.

"The DA will assess those issues after the research has been completed and the information is available for him to look at comprehensively," said Heather Orth, spokeswoman for Soares.

So far, 20 people have been indicted, and several Florida clinics were raided. They allegedly were part of a scheme to provide prescriptions over the Internet to clients who never actually met with the prescribing physicians. A similar federal prosecution also is under way in Rhode Island.

Athletes linked to the scandal, in various reports, are baseball's Gary Matthews Jr., Jose Canseco, John Rocker, Jerry Hairston Jr., David Bell and Darren Holmes, former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield, Pittsburgh Steelers doctor Richard Rydze, 1996 Olympic wrestling gold medalist Kurt Angle and bodybuilder Victor Martinez.

NFL and baseball officials went to Albany last week to meet with Soares and other investigators.

"We have asked the DA's office for any information that is relevant to the NFL within the constraints of the investigation," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said.

Soares has said repeatedly he's targeting distributors supplying illicit drugs and physicians writing prescriptions for patients they've never seen, not customers.

"Any customer not in Albany County who purchased the drugs from a pharmacy in Florida has not broken the law in Albany County," Orth said.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press