Chao not suspected of using meds
SAN DIEGO -- The Drug Enforcement Administration said Wednesday it doesn't believe Dr. David Chao of the San Diego Chargers medical staff was using medications himself even though he apparently had written at least 108 drug prescriptions to himself since 2008.
DEA spokeswoman Amy Roderick says the agency is continuing the investigation that started on June 29 when it searched the offices of the Chargers and San Diego Padres, their doctors and their pharmacies.
"Based on what we have reviewed, we have no reason to believe that he was using the medication himself," Roderick said.
In a statement Wednesday night, Chao denied the implication of self-use or self-prescribing of controlled substances and said he will continue to appropriately treat injuries.
DEA agents learned Chao apparently had written at least 108 drug prescriptions to himself since June 10, 2008, which would violate controlled-substance regulations, according to recently unsealed search warrant affidavits, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported on its website.
Doctors who write prescriptions to themselves sometimes do it to fill office supplies, even though it is illegal, Glen Crick, a Chicago attorney who has represented medical practitioners, told the newspaper.
The DEA investigation comes several weeks after the Chargers released safety Kevin Ellison, who was arrested in May in Redondo Beach on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance. Police said a search of Ellison's vehicle turned up 100 pills of Vicodin.
The Chargers said then, and Chao reiterated Wednesday, that Ellison did not receive the Vicodin from anyone associated with the team.
Chao said he is dedicated to the care of athletes and provides care "with the highest standards, consistent with that of all major sports leagues."
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
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