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Woodard mum of report of receiving HGH shipment

By Mark Edwards
medwards@decaturdaily.com 340-2461

A New York newspaper report says former Major League Baseball pitcher Steve Woodard of Hartselle received a shipment of performance-enhancing drugs from a Florida pharmacy while playing briefly as a teammate of St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Rick Ankiel.

The New York Daily News reported Friday that Ankiel received eight shipments of human growth hormone from January to December 2004.

According to The Daily News, a Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., clinic called The Health and Rejuvenation Center made the eight shipments to Ankiel and the one to Woodard in the same time frame.

The newspaper said that although THARC is under investigation for illegally distributing prescription medications, no legal authorities are accusing the players of any wrongdoing.

Woodard played professional baseball during 1994-2004 and now lives in Hartselle. He graduated in 1994 from Hartselle High, where he helped the Tigers win a state championship as a senior.

When contacted Friday, Woodard told The Daily he declines to comment now "until all the facts are established." When asked if he received a shipment meant for Ankiel because Hartselle is only a three-hour drive from Memphis, Woodard also declined to comment.

HGH was not banned by Major League Baseball until 2005. MLB instituted a steroid-testing policy in 2003, and Woodard was subjected to that for his final two professional seasons. There's no record that Woodard failed a test.

Ankiel and Woodard were teammates with the Class Triple-A Memphis Redbirds in 2004. Woodard began 2004 with the Oakland A's organization before receiving his release Aug. 9 of that year.

He signed with the Cardinals on Aug. 17 and was assigned to Memphis, where he pitched until the season ended in early September. Woodard appeared in four games and had a 1-3 record. The Cardinals released him Oct. 15, 2004.

Ankiel was with Memphis before St. Louis activated him for its major league club Sept. 1, 2004.

At the time, Ankiel was a Cardinals pitcher and was trying to return from arm surgery while pitching in the organization's minor league system.

Since then, Ankiel switched to the outfield, and since returning to the Cardinals' major league team in August, he has slugged nine home runs.

According to the Daily News, records show that Ankiel got HGH shipments that included Saizen and Genotropin, two injectable drugs. Florida physician Dr. William Gogan signed Ankiel's prescriptions, providing them through The Health and Rejuvenation Center, the newspaper reported.

The drugs were shipped to Ankiel at the clinic's address, the paper said. Ankiel lives in Jupiter, Fla.

Another major league player, Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Troy Glaus, reportedly received performance-enhancing drugs from the same Florida pharmacy.

SI.com is reporting that Glaus, the MVP of the 2002 World Series when he was with the Anaheim Angels, received multiple shipments of Nandrolone and testosterone between September 2003 and May 2004.

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