Holyfield says link to HGH probe a 'non-issue'
HOUSTON -- Evander Holyfield is unsure how or why his name surfaced in an investigation of illicit sales of steroids and human growth hormone.
"I ain't got nothing to defend," the four-time heavyweight champion told The Associated Press. "Ain't nobody said I did nothing. It's a non-issue."
Holyfield is among a number of athletes linked to the inquiry, which is being investigated by Albany (N.Y.) District Attorney David Soares, who's preparing to release the names of athletes involved. The Times Union of Albany, N.Y., has reported that Holyfield was on a customer list at Applied Pharmacy in Mobile, Ala., one of the pharmacies raided in the investigation.
Holyfield is to fight New Yorker Vinny Maddalone in a non-title bout Saturday night in Corpus Christi. The 44-year-old boxer has insisted he's never used any illegal or banned performance-enhancing drugs.
He noted his fighting weight has remained relatively consistent throughout his pro career, which began in 1984. He says he'll be about 215 pounds for this bout.
Holyfield said Wednesday his representatives have spoken to "the people who are supposed to have the allegations and they said, 'No, we didn't have an allegation about you. Only thing that we said that your name was in here, and that's it."'
Soares spokeswoman Heather Orth said Thursday that DA investigators were combing evidence seized in raids on medical clinics and compiling a list of athletes' names linked to the inquiry. Those names eventually will be forwarded to the respective professional sports leagues or associations, Orth said.
She said no names had been released by Soares' office and couldn't confirm if Holyfield representatives had spoken to Soares or anyone on his staff.
Asked when the names might be released, Orth said, "We're hoping in the next week or so."
So far, 20 people have been indicted, and several Florida clinics raided. They allegedly were part of a scheme to provide prescriptions over the Internet to clients who never met with the prescribing physicians. A similar federal prosecution also is under way in Rhode Island.
Soares has said he's targeting distributors supplying illicit drugs and physicians writing prescriptions for patients they've never seen, not customers.
Holyfield's fight against Maddalone is part of his effort to win another world title, even an undisputed title. But he does so less than three years after New York revoked his license to fight in that state, citing diminished skills, and with his name linked to the investigation.
"There are a lot of things in life you have to endure to be successful," Holyfield said. "I was told when I was 8 years old I could be heavyweight champion of the world, but it took 20 years. Since 1992, when I lost to Riddick Bowe, I've been trying to get these titles back."
Holyfield (40-8-2), ranked 10th among heavyweights in the latest WBC ratings, began his comeback last year with two wins, both in Texas, and hopes to unify the heavyweight titles before retiring sometime in 2008. He says has overcome a shoulder injury he blames for a three-fight losing streak that appeared to mark the end of his career in November 2004.
One of those losses, to Larry Donald, prompted New York officials to revoke Holyfield's license, though he had no problem getting a license to fight in Texas last year.
"My shoulder's OK, I can move my head now, I can slip more punches," he said.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
• Players' union files grievance on Guillen's behalf
• Mitchell Report due next week
• Guillen, Gibbons suspended 15 days
• Chart: Players who have violated MLB policy
• Sources: HGH suspension in works for Guillen
• Angels owner: Mitchell report will include names
• HBO to turn Bonds steroids book into movie
• BALCO figures fear leaks
• Personal trainer pleads guilty to distribution
• Union: 11 free agents sought in Mitchell talks
• China promises to bust doping industry
• Radomski's sentencing delayed until December
• Matthews Jr. discusses HGH allegations with MLB
• Report: Guillen, Williams bought steroids
• Top lawyer defends MLB testing procedures
• Report: Teams get advance notice of drug tests
• Indians' Byrd admits to using HGH
• NY raid nets $7.2 million in growth hormone
• Union: Mitchell didn't offer to share evidence
• Report: Mitchell gets papers from ex-Mets aide
• Sources: Mitchell's report to reveal many names
• MLB may suspend players who got banned drugs
• Source: Schoeneweis received steroids shipments
• DEA pulls off series of steroid raids
• ESPN The Magazine: China's open drug supply
• Ankiel meets with MLB officials on HGH report
• Report: MLB eyes use of HGH blood test in '08
• Gibbons meets with MLB officials
• Albany sits down with Mitchell Commission reps
• MLB considers adding fertility drugs to banned list
• MLB wants D.A.'s cooperation in pharmacy probe
• MLB requests meeting with Gibbons
• Report: Orioles' Gibbons received steroids, HGH
• Report: Pharmacy shipped steroids to Glaus
• Report: Ankiel linked to HGH | Gammons
• Olney blog: 1998 all over again?
• Harrison cooperated with prosecutors
• Harrison suspended for four games by NFL
• Report: Ex-MLB clubhouse man names names
• Fla. man pleads guilty to steroid sales conspiracy
• Judge denies request to release names in Grimsley case
• Report: Feds provided players names to Mitchell
• Feds: Mitchell got incomplete affidavit
• Ex-BALCO prosecutor says probe could end soon
• Sports leaders, feds discuss fight against steroids
• O's quiet as steroids speculation spins
• Mitchell seeks medical records
• Former doc guilty in prescription scam
From The Archives• The Dope On Steroids
• Mets did little to discourage steroid use
• E-Ticket: Who knew?
Analysis• Howard Bryant: Steroids, HGH and the pennant races
• Buster Olney: Blood test request on horizon
• Jayson Stark: Applying double standards
• Buster Olney: 1998 all over again?
• Rob Neyer: No big deal
• Ankiel timeline
• Peter Gammons: Stuff of legend