Friday, September 14, 2007

Report: Ankiel meets with MLB investigators

By John McMullen
The Phanatic Magazine

St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Rick Ankiel met with Major League Baseball officials earlier this week to answer questions about human growth hormone he reportedly was prescribed by Signature Pharmacy in 2004.

According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, representatives of the commissioner's office questioned Ankiel on Tuesday in Cincinnati in response to a report in the New York Daily News that said Ankiel received eight shipments of HGH in 2004.

"I think it was a good thing to do and I was happy to help," Ankiel told the Dispatch. "I answered whatever questions they had. I was in full compliance with whatever they needed."

Ankiel declined to address the Daily News report, saying he took what a doctor prescribed him after elbow surgery.

There is no test for HGH in Major League Baseball, although a player known to have used it can face a suspension of 50 games under the sport's drug policy.

Ankiel has had a remarkable comeback as a hitter after his promising career as a pitcher ended abruptly with a bout of wildness. He also suffered through injuries to his elbow and knee between 2001 and 2006 as his pitching career faded and his transformation as a hitter began.

Since being recalled from the minors in August, Ankiel has nine homers and 29 runs batted in with a .295 batting average in 30 games.

Other athletes to have been caught in the Albany, New York based Signature Pharmacy investigation include Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Troy Glaus, Baltimore outfielder Jay Gibbons, Rodney Harrison of the NFL's New England Patriots, former NFL quarterback-turned-coach Wade Wilson and numerous professional wrestlers including Adam "Edge" Copeland, Ken "Mr. Kennedy" Holmes and Darren "William Regal" Matthews.

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