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Thursday, September 20, 2007
Company pays $10.5 million fine; no athletes specifically named

ESPN.com news services

BOSTON -- The U.S. Attorney's office here said Wednesday that a St. Louis company admitted distributing human growth hormone to athletes and entertainers, and agreed to pay a $10.5 million fine and to cooperate with investigators.

The company, Specialty Distribution Systems Inc. (a subsidiary of Express Scripts), said in a news release that it "does not condone the use of human growth hormone for anti-aging, cosmetic or performance-enhancement purposes."

The U.S. Attorney's office disagrees, saying that Specialty supplied HGH for a "well-known" athlete in Massachusetts and an "entertainer/athlete" who received a shipment was 6-foot-5, 276 pounds, according to the New York Daily News.

No one from Specialty is expected to be charged as long as they cooperate with prosecutors. The admission, however, figures to pique the interest of officials in the NFL and Major League Baseball, who have been trying to establish if any of their athletes have been involved in this case, or another in Albany, which has resulted in 22 indictments.

Two prominent athletes have been involved in HGH headlines recently. Rodney Harrison of the New England Patriots was suspended for four games, while Rick Ankiel of the St. Louis Cardinals has been questioned by MLB, but has not been disciplined.