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Published: Tuesday, 3/6/2007

2 more arraigned in steroid case; more athletes implicated


ALBANY, N.Y. Two more people linked to a nationwide investigation into the illegal sale of steroids were arraigned today on drug-related charges as published reports implicated more athletes, including former star relief pitcher John Rocker.

Steven and Karen Lampert of Anti-Aging Centers in Nanuet pleaded not guilty in an Albany County, N.Y., courtroom and were released without bail. They are charged with submitting prescriptions to a Florida pharmacy some obviously forged according to the district attorney for drugs totaling more than $50,000 for people without a medical need.

Steven Lampert is charged with 20 counts, his wife with two.

It seems as though our clients have much less involvement than the others, said Jay Golland, a lawyer for Karen Lampert.

Prosecutors describe the Lamperts as criminal associates of Signature Pharmacy in Orlando, Fla. Albany County District Attorney David Soares says Signature was at the center of a web of businesses and doctors that illegally wrote prescriptions for steroids.

The arraignments come a day after not guilty pleas were entered in Albany by 11 other defendants, including four Signature Pharmacy officials.

Also today, SI.com reported Rocker, 1996 Olympic wrestling gold-medalist Kurt Angle and former major leaguer David Bell all showed up on a client list of Applied Pharmacy, a Mobile, Ala. company raided in connection with the investigation.

Through his spokeswoman, Rocker, who pitched for the Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Devil Rays, denied any knowledge of the prescription and denied ever receiving a banned substance, SI.com reported.

Bell told SI.com he received the shipment of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) last April but said the drug was prescribed for a medical condition, which he declined to disclose.

Soares also acknowledged that bodybuilder Victor Martinez was an unindicted co-conspirator in the case and is linked to the Lamperts Anti-Aging Centers. Martinez won the Arnold Classic bodybuilding competition Saturday in Ohio.

Martinez told The New York Times he bought testosterone from the Lamperts after their clinic told him he had low levels of the hormone. He also said the company asked him to become a partner, but he declined.

I didn t trust them, and other people were warning me not to do business with them, he told the Times.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com

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