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Report: Unnamed NBA players linked to Biogenesis clinic scandal

Jul 25, 2013, 5:28 PM EST

needle, syringe, drug Getty Images

The performance enhancing drug scandal tied to the Florida Biogenesis clinic that has embroiled baseball and led to the suspension of MVP Ryan Braun could touch the NBA.

Porter Fischer, the whistleblower who came forward to give the Miami New Times boxes of information that blew up Biogenesis into a scandal, told ESPN’s investigative show Outside The Lines that there are NBA players who used the clinic.

Fischer said he and associates have identified athletes from the NBA, NCAA, professional boxing, tennis and MMA, in addition to other professional baseball players who have not yet been identified. As far as he knows, Fischer said, Bosch had no clients from the NFL or NHL….

He said the only sports entity he has heard from was Major League Baseball.

No names of those other athletes have been released.

As anyone who has followed this story even casually knows, Fischer has plenty of credibility issues of his own. That said, the people at Biogenesis did a good job of keeping records, not only of who came to the clinics but of emails, texts and other correspondence.

The NBA has a policy of testing for PEDs, although the people doing designer PEDs have always been one step (or more) ahead of enforcement efforts. The NBA does not have a blood test in place for Human Growth Hormones yet, with Commissioner David Stern saying at Summer League that has to be negotiated with the union, and those kinds of negotiations are on hold until they get a new full time executive director. The current NBA rules call for a 20-game suspension for the first offense of testing positive, a second violation earns 45 games off, a third means banishment from the league.

Count me in the group that thinks there is more PED use in the NBA than people realize. I don’t think it’s as rampant as other sports, but the idea that a PED to help speed recoveries from workouts would not benefit a player in the off-season or during long road trips is naive at best. The fact is when millions of dollars are on the line people will cheat the rules, and that is the case with NBA contracts.

But as of now there is no evidence of which — if any — NBA players were tied to the clinic and what they may have taken. (I know a bunch of you will end up speculating in the comments and name players you hate, everyone is innocent until proven guilty and as of right now there is no proof of anything here.)

  1. ProBasketballPundit - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    NOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Please don’t name any of the superstars.

    • antistratfordian - Jul 25, 2013 at 6:00 PM

      If a superstar was on any of those papers it would’ve been one of the first things revealed. This dude Fischer would’ve been trying to get a million dollars from Stern for his records.

      It’s likely that the names are of lesser players, which is why it’s only coming out a year later.

  2. illegalblues - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    lebron and jameer nelson were rumored to be involved back last winter. i personally think it is obvious that jujuan johnson and chris johnson have been juicing

    • nycalldayz - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:47 PM

      I heard those rumors too, but they’re rumors. If there was to be any truth about NBA players linked to the biogenesis clinic especially Lebron I think David Stern would hide that information. Stern would likely hang others out to dry, but he would protect Lebron.

      • illegalblues - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:53 PM

        the rumors are probably false but i don’t think NBA really cares that much about PEDs. i support them in that viewpoint. the war on PEDs is as needed as the war on drugs.

      • bendover09 - Jul 25, 2013 at 6:01 PM

        Yes its perfectly normal to have 5’7 parents and a 6’9 kid .. this dudes are juicing in high school during their growing cycle. That is the reason they sky rocket in size. I went to a little 3A country school in Texas. The strength coach feeds you “anabolic steroids” so they say .. but since we had that coach state titles were looming and.the kids were getting 6’2-5 and 220-250 lbs like it was nothing. Of course, I chose not to and that ultimately ended my.chances. any who, if the league and government cared they’ll go after the real drug dealers and not the pawns

      • casualcommenter - Jul 25, 2013 at 6:12 PM

        I’m not a fan of David Stern at all, but let’s get real. He doesn’t control “everything.”

        He’s in charge of the NBA. He could, in theory, hide positive PED test results, though if he really wanted to protect superstars, he could just warn them in advance prior to testing rather than test them, have them test positive, and try to hide that information.

        However, if Biogenesis’ records, acquired by police and passed along to the media, showed LeBron James or any other stars on the list, Stern couldn’t block the release of that information.

        Stern is the commissioner of the NBA – he doesn’t control the state police, FBI, and national media….

      • trevor123698 - Jul 25, 2013 at 11:17 PM

        @bendover09

        The government is the real drug dealer. Read “DOPE INC the book that drove henry kissinger crazy”

    • antistratfordian - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:53 PM

      Yeah, but that “rumor” doesn’t match what Fischer is saying here. The person who tried to link LeBron to that clinic said that every record with his name on it was destroyed, which is why she couldn’t couldn’t produce any papers or other hard evidence.

      • casualcommenter - Jul 25, 2013 at 6:07 PM

        To second what antistratfordian is saying: A couple of bloggers tried to tie LeBron to this story a couple of months ago, but it didn’t pick up traction with the mainstream media.
        The media didn’t pick up the story, despite the fact that such a story would be the sports story of the year (like Lance Armstrong getting caught was), because the evidence wasn’t weak – it was non-existent.

        The rumor was that there were paperbags filled with PEDs that somebody who worked at Biogenesis believed were meant for LeBron James that were regularly picked up. This person claims she saw a member of LeBron’s business entourage regularly pick up the PEDs. This person also says that while the clinic kept records of their clients, this bag didn’t have a name – it was labeled as going to “LJ.”

        So like me, at this point, you might say, “Hmm, if she has records with the initials ‘LJ’ and can claim to remember seeing of LeBron James’ friends picking it up, that’s something.” Unfortunately, this employee says all the records were destroyed.

        You see, this source was a secretary at Biogenesis, and she says she personally destroyed all the records at the orders of the CEO before being fired when the clinic was closed. So according to her, there’s never been any records of “LeBron James” being a client, and the only records that might have had “LJ” (LeBron’s initials) were destroyed by the person claiming to “remember seeing” one of LeBron’s associates making regular pickups.

        That’s a weak case, since as a journalist, you’d be depending on a recently fired secretary to not only be the source of the claim that an associate of LeBron’s regularly went to Biogenesis (which is a sketchy claim, relying on just 1 eyewitness), but also that “LJ” was a listed client (but with no actual records to back up that claim)
        .
        And even if you believe her on both claims, LJ could be the name of a different athlete. And as a recently unemployed secretary, she has an incentive to try to “cash in” on the recent infamy of the clinic and sell her story to the highest bidder. So that rumor really has nothing behind it.

      • Kurt Helin - Jul 25, 2013 at 7:23 PM

        I saw and looked into those claims when they came out, and they are flimsy at best. If you are going to nail any NBA player in this we need something that passes even a test of reasonable doubt, and those claims did not.

  3. sprest83 - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    Duh! If it has been used in cycling for years, why not the NBA? C’mon guys, get real. Its everywhere…stop being surprised.

  4. bayrich - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    Always wondered how Nate could dunk ;)

  5. stadix093 - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    As a Laker fan I’m comfortable saying Pau is probably not involved.

    • 00maltliquor - Jul 26, 2013 at 1:38 AM

      HAAAAhahahahaha!!!!! LOL, I’m weak! lol^

  6. illegalblues - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    really hoping for a Lebron PED scandal so he quits basketball and becomes a tight end for the Cleveland Browns for a year until his phantom suspension ends.

    • bendover09 - Jul 25, 2013 at 6:03 PM

      A reciever for the Cowboys. LeBron.himself has already said. Dallas cowboys is his favorite.

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 25, 2013 at 6:18 PM

        yes but haven’t you seen the commercial where he plays receiver for the Browns? and helps them beat the Dolphins to win the Super Bowl? even though the Dolphins and Browns both play in the AFC?

      • illegalblues - Jul 25, 2013 at 6:22 PM

        yeah, sure. we know lebron likes to join loser teams.

      • cullenand99 - Jul 25, 2013 at 7:38 PM

        @illegalblues LOL at implying the Cleveland Browns aren’t a loser team.

  7. cfutch - Jul 25, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    Does this really matter tho?? PEDs do not help you play basketball

    • casualcommenter - Jul 25, 2013 at 6:16 PM

      Agreed.

      Substances that make a person run faster, jump higher, heal more quickly, and concentrate better wouldn’t help a basketball player at all.

      So PEDs including anabolic steroids, HGH, and Adderall wouldn’t improve performance since basketball doesn’t require strength, speed, healing, or mental acuity…

      /End sarcasm

      • cfutch - Jul 25, 2013 at 6:59 PM

        Does it help you put the ball in the basket?

      • detectivejimmymcnulty - Jul 25, 2013 at 8:13 PM

        cfutch – Jul 25, 2013 at 6:59 PM
        Does it help you put the ball in the basket?

        If you can run past the guy on fast break defense or throw down on someone then yes it does. Also consider the mental aspect of PEDs. I would imagine it gives users more confidence.

    • aschitown - Jul 26, 2013 at 5:52 AM

      As someone who’s actually used PED’s….. Oh yes they do!

      They help with –

      1)Amphetamines – focus which can really improve a shot – phentermine, adderall, ephedra, greenies, any amphetamine will do this.
      2) steroids – speed, quickness, strength, prevention of muscle breakdown during times when you’re burning tons of calories and can’t consume enough protein. Muscle get broken down and used for energy when you run out of carbohydrates and fat. (Remember this point)
      3) hgh – muscle repair and prevention of muscle break down, improved metabolic state. Hgh can’t do anything for a person in short cycles, it needs to be used for at least 8 months to have noticeable effects on the human body
      4) hcg – this is used as an alternative to steroids also used after a steroid cycle to bring natural test levels back up by stimulating the Lydig cells and increasing the production of LH. Leutenizing Hormone.
      5) EPO – blood doping – Lance Armstrong – this helps sustain high levels of performance over longer periods of time by improving users endurance dramatically.

      Designer steroids generally slip through testing. Also steroids have a half life, the half life indicates how long they will remain in a persons system. If the designer steroids have a short half life, they could be out of a user system in days. If you know when you’re going to be tested, you can easily make sure your tests are clean.
      HGH is not tested for in the NBA
      HCG is not tested for in the NBA
      EPO is not tested for in the NBA

      While the NBA doesn’t test for a lot of this stuff, the IOC supposedly does. Which may be why Lebron is done playing In the Olympics.

      I’ve been speculating for a long time that Lebron James has been using PEDs. Here’s why-

      1) he had a Barry Bonds season a few years into the NBA where he went from looking like a boy to looking like a beast. How could he put on that much muscle in a 3-4 month off-season where he’s also training for the NBA and burning thousands of calories a day. It’s not easy to build muscle when you are burning thousands of calories with aerobic activity. As someone who’s tried to lose weight doing a great deal of aerobic activity and tried to put muscle on at the same time, it’s almost damn near impossible. Ask any body builder, that’s why they have bulking phases and cutting phases, it’s hard to do both at the same time. On the opposite end of that spectrum, have you seen a distance runner with muscles???

      2) It’s also hard to prevent muscle catabolism if you’re doing tons of aerobic activity. Lebron James’ muscles should break down over the course of a season. If he starts the season looking like a beast, by the time the championships roll around, he should have lost some muscle. Unless he’s somehow consuming maybe 10,000 calories a day where about 60% of that is protein. But then, there’s no way that much protein would metabolized and used. You’re body can’t really do anything with more than 50grams of protein at a time, 6,000 calories from protein would probably require something like 500 grams -1,000grams a day. That’s 10-20 meals a day of protein a day with a four hour period for digestion for each meal. We only have 24 hours in a day. He could eat more protein and have fewer meals but it wouldn’t do much good, it would bloat him, it would way him down and make him feel sluggish and crappy. On off days maybe he could do this but not game days. Game days he would need to carb up for energy because energy levels are generally lower when you are on a high protein diet.

      3) why does he try to hide his receding hairline so much? Why not just bic it and not have a hairline at all?

      How does Lebron James stay big and strong over a grueling long NBA season when every other athlete breaks down? This is what makes me think he uses PEDs but if he does use them, a lot of people would have to be in on it. The NBA, why not? They need a marketable player, the Modern NBA was built on Air Jordan, they need a new MJ every 5-10 years or so. MJ – Kobe – LJ – KD? DRose?

      Though I don’t know how he would circumvent the testing by the IOC. He could stop taking it for a couple months around testing time. We’d have to look back at the Olympic years and see if there is a fall off period during the season somewhere.

      This is just based on my first hand knowledge of these drugs that I’ve used myself. I also was a personal trainer and tried to be a competitive body builder. Here’s the thing with PEDs, if you can keep it up, you’re going to be great but if you have to stop…. Injuries… Injuries….injuries…. Torn pecs, torn triceps… Torn biceps… Torn calves….torn Achilles…. Most football players who get busted wind up with muscle tears and similar injuries after they stop. Look at Shawn Merrimen for example, as soon as he got busted in San Diego he started to get hurt. A-rod. And Ryan Braun’s day will come too! There was also a linebacker on the Texans from USC who got busted and suspended, I think he had a string of injuries afterwards too.

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 29, 2013 at 4:01 PM

        Brian Cushing. His injury was a torn ACL last season – but it was torn on a questionable low block from Jets guard Matt Slauson. The type of block Slauson made was actually changed to be illegal after the season due to it being highly dangerous.

    • bougin89 - Jul 26, 2013 at 12:16 PM

      “Does this really matter tho?? PEDs do not help you play basketball”

      Ugh.

      PED users would absolutely have a competitive advantage if they are stronger, faster, more explosive, etc. etc. etc. than they would be if they were not using. Not to mention they would stay stronger through a long season. How can you even question if PEDs would help you play basketball on an NBA level which is extremely physical?

  8. casualcommenter - Jul 25, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    Can I just say, I really hate how on this site, comments full of expletives and racial epithets make it through the filter, but if I attempt to write a comment longer than 4 sentences, it automatically gets screened and doesn’t show up?

  9. zblott - Jul 25, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    The NBA sweeps PED’s under the rug so well, everyone somehow forgot about what Derrick Rose said 2 years ago:

    http://www.behindthebasket.com/btb/2011/5/23/derrick-rose-and-the-ped-discussion-we-should-have-had-a-lon.html

    • antistratfordian - Jul 25, 2013 at 8:43 PM

      That was taken out of context. He thought the question was about where PED use should rank as a concern… he said it was “huge.”

      He didn’t mean to say use in the NBA is a currently huge problem.

      • zblott - Jul 26, 2013 at 1:16 AM

        Reread the exact question he was asked and his exact answer. Then look at the 3 different ways that he, his people, and the team all tried to spin what he said – not 1 of them the same as the other.

  10. truninerfan49 - Jul 25, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    If lebron decides to take a year off to play baseball then we will know the truth

  11. northstarnic - Jul 25, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    It’s not as though the NBA is concerned with competitive fairness. The officiating, among other factors, had made that abundantly clear over the years.

  12. detectivejimmymcnulty - Jul 25, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    Lebron gets thrown into any type of negative scandal right away. Remember that he went through the Olympic blood testing last summer. A certain #24 has lost 20 pounds twice before the Olympics now and gained it back before the season started.

    • bucrightoff - Jul 26, 2013 at 9:16 AM

      So did Lance Amstrong, and he didn’t get popped. The cheaters stay ahead of the curve for a reason.

      Regardless, the NBA has by far the most to lose by any scandal like this if it involves major stars, so if they are involved I expect this will be swept under the rug. Way too much money on the line.

  13. cantonbound13 - Jul 25, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    King PED

  14. dirtydavis - Jul 25, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    I wouldn’t doubt if Kobe’s name pops up

    • detectivejimmymcnulty - Jul 25, 2013 at 8:11 PM

      I think Dwight Howard 100%. Then probably OJ Mayo, Rashard Lewis, and Turk because they all have failed PED tests.

      Would not be surprised if Lebron is juicing. The guy had the weight of the world on his shoulders to win. He and Wade are very close and there are those close to Wade who have said Wade used/uses PEDs, which could explain his body breaking down.

      As for Kobe, he went from almost retiring because of his knees to dunking like he’s 18 again. Honestly, we could be in the NBA’s version of the MLB’s Steroid Era.

    • thomaskouns - Jul 26, 2013 at 12:12 AM

      At this point with all the other scandals in other sports and the fact nearly all proved to be true nothing would surprise me.

  15. pfruge - Jul 25, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    Not surprised here. Go ahead, put your head in the sand. Waiting for names from the PGA tour to surface.

  16. joshm5683 - Jul 25, 2013 at 8:44 PM

    For the people who are saying why would an NBA player need PEDs because they don’t help you put the ball in the basket and you don’t need large physical mass……..the most likely scenario is NBA players who are using them are using them the same way cyclists were in blood doping and however that works of putting highly oxygenated blood in your system.

    In the end I don’t really care. They aren’t hurting anyone but themselves for our entertainment.

    I have a scenario of an awesome sports league where the men are clean and they let the women dope up all they want. The men would still will but it would be extremely interesting! Thats a story for another day though

  17. deiong - Jul 25, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    there’s no way Stern will allow LeBron to be named, he will eat the paper first before he lets him get in trouble for it. lesson to LeBron, he can get away with anything he wants.

  18. atlbrave5 - Jul 25, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    What I don’t understand is how the NFL has managed to avoid being caught up in these types of scandals. They are the biggest and the fastest players of all the sports and you don’t hear hardly and talk about performance enhancers. But, they have made it a mission to go after baseball players, Olympic athletes and now the NBA…come on. Something is just not right!

    • aschitown - Jul 26, 2013 at 6:04 AM

      The NFL doesn’t try to hide it. They move to suspend players right away, no player gets preferential treatment and everyone is tested and everyone is investigated if they test positive.

      It’s only a scandal if there is an attempt to cover it up.

    • asimonetti88 - Jul 26, 2013 at 10:54 AM

      Like aschitown said, the NFL doesn’t mess around with it. You test positive you’re suspended. They don’t hide it at all. Within the last year, off the top of my head- Eric Wright, Brandon Browner, Richard Sherman, Eric Wright, Von Miller, Justin Blackmon, Joe Haden, Will Hill, Bruce Irvin, Aqib Talib.

      • unxpexted1 - Jul 26, 2013 at 12:02 PM

        yup, SHawn Merriman got suspended right after he led the league in sacks….now he’s on a episode of “Where are they Now” since being popped.

      • bucrightoff - Jul 26, 2013 at 1:17 PM

        I know Eric Wright sucks but he did only get popped for PEDs once.

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 26, 2013 at 1:27 PM

        Oops! As a Niners fan I guess I just have Eric Wright on the mind!

  19. sportsnut101 - Jul 25, 2013 at 9:36 PM

    If it was a superstar. It would of came out already.

  20. pistolpete0903 - Jul 25, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    I would be surprised if people are surprised that the NBA is insulated from PED.
    The athlete fraternity is close and things like these do get passed around.

  21. thomaskouns - Jul 26, 2013 at 12:10 AM

    I have this strange felling that a lot of ‘big’ NBA names are going to come out on this.

    Everytime one of these scandals pop up in any sport there almost always has been both big names and legitimacy behind it.

    I’d love to say this wont be the case but at some point common sense and history have to be substituted for wishful thinking.

    D Howard and Lebron are at the top of my list as both were Florida players.

  22. arlingtonsynn - Jul 26, 2013 at 12:33 AM

    We all know Andrew Bynum is clean. No PEDs involved in that recovery.

    And Derrick Rose fans want to chime in?

  23. sackings916 - Jul 26, 2013 at 12:41 AM

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Metta World Peace “or whatever name he’s calling himself” was on some PED’s.. He came back extremely quick from his last surgery during the end of the season and plus he seems crazy enough to try and get away with it.

  24. bigmizzax - Jul 26, 2013 at 12:44 AM

    C’mon Kobe…let’s see the name….

  25. oldcat157 - Jul 26, 2013 at 9:07 AM

    NBA? Baseball? What about football??!! It’s only a matter of time…

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