St. Louis Cardinals’ star slugger Rick Ankiel acknowledged using Human Growth Hormone last night, facing reporters in the dugout after news emerged yesterday that he had received HGH from a pharmacy involved in a prescription-drug scandal. Ankiel took delivery of HGH for a year following a routine elbow surgery in 2003, before it was banned by Major Leage Baseball, according to the New York Daily News.
The former pitcher who made a fairy-tale comeback as an outfielder this year said the treatment was prescribed by his doctor. But league officials questioned why he went outside Cardinals’ medical system, and HGH is not approved under FDA rules for healthy young men recovering from surgery, reports the News. The Cardinals’ manager defended Ankiel Friday, saying there was no violation of league rules or the law.