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Plano steroids dealer said he supplied NFL's Vick

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  • Plano steroids dealer said he supplied NFL's Vick

    Plano steroids dealer said he supplied NFL's Vick
    12:25 AM CST on Saturday, January 23, 2010
    The Dallas Morning News

    Michael Vick has told federal investigators that he never used performance-enhancing drugs, but Plano steroids trafficker David Jacobs told The Dallas Morning News before his death that he was Vick's supplier when Vick played for the Atlanta Falcons.

    The News did not publish Jacobs' allegations against the NFL quarterback because authorities at the time declined to confirm Vick was part of the Jacobs investigation.

    But a newly released document shows that federal agents and prosecutors questioned Vick about steroids and human growth hormone while investigating his dog-fighting ring in the fall of 2007. Vick denied using the drugs.

    Agents asked Vick about an alleged encounter at the Falcons' 2006 Christmas party. Details of that encounter relayed by an informant to the Drug Enforcement Administration are similar to what Jacobs told The News after he began cooperating with federal agents and NFL investigators.

    Vick was never implicated in the Jacobs steroids case. Vick was released from home confinement in late July after being sentenced to nearly two years in prison for his role in a dog-fighting ring. He then signed with the Philadelphia Eagles.

    Contacted Friday for this story, Vick's agent said he could not speak right then but said he would call back. He did not, nor did he return subsequent calls or a detailed e-mail.

    Authorities said Jacobs ran one of the largest doping networks in the country before he was arrested in May 2007.

    The new document, which summarizes Vick's interview with investigators, surfaced because of open records requests by media outlets.

    Agents told Vick that a DEA informant said that Vick was talking about steroids and human growth hormone with someone at the Falcons party and that Vick was overheard saying he "liked his product."

    Vick immediately denied to the investigators that the conversation ever happened and said he did not use performance-enhancing drugs.

    Names, other than Vick's, were redacted from the government summary, so it's not clear whether the DEA informant referred to was Jacobs.

    But in several interviews with The News that took place in the months before authorities say Jacobs killed himself and his girlfriend in June 2008, Jacobs said that at that 2006 gathering he was with Vick and other players who used his drugs.

    Jacobs told The News that he was invited to the Christmas party by friend Matt Lehr, a Falcons lineman at the time. "He introduced me as his brother," Jacobs told The News. "I was at the table with Lehr, Vick ..."

    Lehr played for the Cowboys from 2001 to 2004. He was on the Tennessee Titans roster this past year. When The News first reported Jacobs' account of the party in April 2008, only the names of Jacobs and Lehr were published.

    Jacobs also named two other Falcons and another player at his table who he alleged used his drugs. The News isn't naming them for the same reason it did not initially name Vick: They are not confirmed to have been part of any law enforcement investigation.

    One difference in the two Christmas party accounts: Jacobs told The News that the party was at the Georgia Aquarium. The newly unearthed document says the party was at a nightclub.

    Lehr's response

    Jacobs said he supplied Lehr with steroids and a significant amount of human growth hormone. Lehr has denied Jacobs' allegations against him and has not been charged with any wrongdoing. Previously, in 2006, the NFL suspended Lehr for four games after he tested positive for a banned substance.

    When contacted, Lehr's attorney, Paul Coggins, said, "The feds and the NFL have closed their investigations with no action taken against Matt."

    Federal prosecutors in the Jacobs case declined to comment on the status of the Lehr and the Jacobs investigation.

    "Department of Justice policy prohibits us from talking about investigations to protect the integrity of any potential cases that may result," said Davilyn Walston, spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Texas.

    In a statement to The News, the NFL said:

    "Based on our investigation and the available information, we have been unable to substantiate any of Mr. Jacobs' claims that he provided performance-enhancing substances to NFL players. Consistent with our policy, we will continue to vigorously pursue all credible claims and take action as appropriate."

    Representatives from the Falcons and the Eagles declined to comment about Jacobs' allegations.

    John Ratcliffe, the former top prosecutor in the Jacobs case, said he couldn't comment on what Jacobs told investigators. He acknowledged, however, that both the Vick and Jacobs investigations dealt with allegations involving NFL players and drew national media attention.

    "It was a large investigation," said Ratcliffe, now in private practice. "Because of the high-profile nature of the figures allegedly involved, it would have been standard procedure to coordinate information to determine what was accurate."

    After federal agents dismantled his steroid empire in 2007, Jacobs pleaded guilty and began cooperating with authorities. He told agents and NFL officials that he supplied Lehr and other players. Jacobs also claimed there was widespread use of a drug-masking agent among Falcons players.

    At the time, finasteride, a hair-loss-prevention drug, was a banned substance in international competition, but not the NFL. At least twice, in 2005 and prior to that, the NFL said its "independent scientific and medical advisers" had reviewed the drug but had not recommended banning it.

    Jacobs' death

    Later in 2008, after The News published Jacobs' allegations that football players were taking it to mask steroid use, the NFL changed course and added finasteride to its banned list.

    Weeks after being sentenced to three years of probation as part of his plea deal, Jacobs shot and killed his girlfriend, fitness competitor and magazine cover girl Amanda Jo Earhart-Savell, at his Plano home, then turned the gun on himself, authorities said. His motive was unclear, but some suggested he was jealous because she and Lehr had been dating.

    Part of his plea deal was that he would stop selling and using steroids. But based on evidence authorities said they found in his home after his death, there were indications that Jacobs may have again been using or manufacturing steroids.

    Previously, The News has reported that before he died, Jacobs told the paper and the NFL that he also supplied former Cowboys linebacker Ryan Fowler with performance-enhancing drugs.

    The day after Jacobs' death, the NFL wrote a letter to Fowler, at the time with the Tennessee Titans, telling him he faced suspension for violation of the league's banned substances policy. According to Fowler's attorney, the letter said there was credible evidence that Fowler "purchased, used or supplied" banned substances. Fowler has denied using performance-enhancing drugs.

    Contacted for this story, Fowler's attorney said he has heard nothing from the NFL and assumes the investigation is closed. Fowler is now on the New York Jets' roster.

  • #2
    Re: Plano steroids dealer said he supplied NFL's Vick

    Wow! NFL players are on "the Juice"? Who knew.


    • #3
      Re: Plano steroids dealer said he supplied NFL's Vick

      This isn't the MLB where people actually care about steroid use. Baseball and it's precious homerun records.