Team Doctors Wrote 'Suspicious Prescriptions': DEA - NBC 7 San Diego

Team Doctors Wrote 'Suspicious Prescriptions': DEA



    Unsealed search warrants lay out evidence in a federal investigation accusing team physicians and one local pharmacy of writing and filling hundreds of illegal prescriptions for powerful drugs for Chargers, Padres and other professional and college athletes across the country.

    NBC San Diego has obtained some recently unsealed warrants, that target team doctors alleging that three doctors for the Padres and two doctors for the Chargers have written hundreds of so-called “suspicious and illegal” prescriptions.

    Federal authorities began their investigation last May when former Chargers' safety Kevin Ellison was caught by police with more than 100 prescription pain pills.

    Now, court documents reveal federal drug agents served ten search warrants under seal last month.

    Court Docs Reveal Details in DEA Investigation

    [DGO] Court Docs Reveal Details in DEA Investigation
    According to ten search warrants, several doctors who work for the Chargers and Padres are also being investigated for possible drug violations.
    (Published Thursday, July 15, 2010)

    Agents say Chargers’ team doctor David Chao allegedly wrote more than 100 prescriptions to himself, or to businesses like "Healthsouth Center" and "Medical Center Oasis.” Prescriptions the DEA calls quote "suspicious and unlawful.”

    DEA spokeswoman Amy Roderick said the agency doesn't believe the doctor was using the medications himself. "Based on what we have reviewed, we have no reason to believe that he was using the medication himself," Roderick told the Associated Press.

    In a statement Wednesday night, Chao denied the implication of self-use or self-prescribing of controlled substances and said he will continue to appropriately treat injuries.

    Also under investigation, Chargers' doctor Calvin Wong who has offices downtown and at the Chargers’ headquarters. He allegedly wrote questionable prescriptions for something called "Blue Box Chargers" and for the quote "San Diego Chargers.”

    Three Padres' team doctors are also under investigation.

    Harry Albers, allegedly wrote six prescriptions in his own name, that were filled at a pharmacy near Los Angeles.

    The DEA says Dr. Gaston Molina wrote six prescriptions in the name of another Padres' doctor, Robert Kakehashi. Prescriptions for quote a "significant quantity" of drugs, that were filled at pharmacies in Encinitas and San Antonio, Texas.

    Agents also searched a North County pharmacy, which allegedly filled 1200 prescriptions using an expired DEA license.

    Those agents also report finding a series of binders, labeled "NBA basketball,” "Minor League Baseball," "Soccer," "AFL Football" and other sports.

    One former federal prosecutor who looked at the search warrants, said the evidence is compelling.

    "What it looks like on its face is that these doctors were giving extra drugs to some of the athletes on these teams," said John Kirby.

    Former Chargers' player Akbar Gbaja-Biamila told NBC San Diego that he is stunned by the allegations.

    "I'm here to say that I have never, ever heard of a player abusing drugs with the Chargers when it comes to prescription drugs I'm shocked that Dr. Chao's name is in the investigation," Gbaja-Biamila said.

    "Where was the ultimate destination? Did it end up in Dr. Chao’s mouth? Did it end up in the hands of players?" he asked.

    The Padres’ organization said it’s cooperating with the DEA and that no players are under investigation.

    "The physicians involved are cooperating fully with the D.E.A. in this investigation and prescribed all medications for appropriate medical reasons," according to a Padres spokesperson.

    The Chargers had no comment Wednesday. The two team doctors did not return NBC San Diego’s phone calls Wednesday night.