50 Cent, Blige named in steroids probe


ALBANY, N.Y. -- A number of entertainers were named in connection with an Albany-based steroid investigation, but they are not part of an ongoing criminal probe, according to a published report.

The Times Union of Albany cited unidentified law enforcement officials in reporting Sunday that R&B music star Mary J. Blige, rap musicians 50 Cent, Timbaland and Wyclef Jean, and award-winning author and producer Tyler Perry may have received or used performance-enhancing drugs.

Law enforcement officials have said evidence does not indicate that the celebrities broke the law, but that investigators are focusing on doctors, pharmacists and clinics that provide the drugs.

Albany District Attorney P. David Soares launched the investigation into steroid trafficking last year.

Soares is "not confirming, denying or discussing any of the names" involved in the investigation, said spokeswoman Heather Streeter Orth.

A spokeswoman for Blige denied the singer had taken illegal steroids.

Ken Sunshine, a spokesman for Tyler Perry, declined to comment.

There was no response to calls Sunday and Monday seeking comment from representatives of other entertainers.

Soares' multistate investigation has focused on Signature Pharmacy of Orlando, Fla. So far, 10 defendants have pleaded guilty and news reports have linked some professional athletes to Soares' probe.

Soares has said Signature was at the center of a web of businesses and doctors that illegally wrote prescriptions for steroids. Authorities raided the company almost a year ago and its owners and operators are awaiting trial in Albany on related charges.

Records shared with the Times Union and information from several cooperating witnesses on Long Island allege the celebrities received prescribed human growth hormone or steroids, the newspaper said.

The newspaper said that Blige received the human growth hormone Jentropin and Oxandrolone, an anabolic steroid, in orders sent to her at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Her spokeswoman denounced the report. "Mary J. Blige has never taken any performance enhancing illegal steroids," Karynne Tencer told The Daily News.

Former Sen. George Mitchell released a report last month on performance-enhancing drugs in baseball. That report said former Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski provided steroids and human growth hormone linked to several prominent players. Radomski pleaded guilty last year to charges that he dealt steroids to players for a decade.

Congressional hearings are to begin this month on the Mitchell report.