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Purchase of Steroids Reported : Drug Company Says It Sold Stanozolol to Johnson’s Doctor

From Times Wire Services

A spokesman for a U.S.-owned drug company here said that Ben Johnson’s personal physician purchased the same anabolic steroid that was found in the Canadian sprinter’s urine after he won the 100-meter dash in the Olympic Games last month.

The physician, Dr. George Mario (Jamie) Astaphan, has told some media organizations that he has never given stanozolol to any of his patients. He said that includes Johnson, who was stripped of his gold medal after he tested positive for the drug at Seoul.

But in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. last week, Astaphan, who has offices in Canada and on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts, said he has prescribed anabolic steroids for some patients, although he did not say what type.

Joe Kiefer, a spokesman for Sterling Research Ltd., said Wednesday: “We have made a search of our sales records, and it confirms that we have sold stanozolol to Dr. Astaphan.”

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Kiefer would not say how many times Astaphan bought the steroid, which is banned by the International Olympic Committee, or the quantity of the drug bought.

Sterling, a subsidiary of Sterling Drug Inc. of New York, is the only manufacturer and distributor of stanozolol in North America.

Records of sales from the drug company have been turned over to the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons, which is investigating Astaphan’s role in Johnson’s positive drug test at the Games. The records will not be made public, however.

In a meeting last week, Astaphan promised to deliver his records on Johnson and other patients within a week. A spokeswoman said the college has not received them.

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The college also plans to ask the Canadian government for help in obtaining evidence from athletes. The government also has announced an investigation of its own into drug abuse in sports.


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