As the Roger Clemens case develops, and as the feds get more into the process of determining if the pitcher lied in his testimony before a Congressional committee, IRS agents are reported to be looking at a Houston area weight loss clinic and its owner.
The New York Times is reporting that IRS agents “are scrutinizing” Shawn Kelley Weight Loss Center, and that lead agent Jeff Novitisky is pursing people in the Houston area including former employees of this weight loss center/gym. Novitsky has been heading up the investigation into the distribution and use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) in major league sports for almost six years.
Some of you may remember that leading up to the congressional hearings Clemens’ lawyer Rusty Hardin said that his client would eat Novitsky’s lunch, and claimed that the federal agent’s presence at the Congressional hearings would be tantamount to witness intimidation. These statements represent just a few of Hardin’s many missteps throughout these proceedings. If you’re anywhere near consideration to be investigated by the feds for anything, the last thing you want to do is vex an IRS agent.
So Novitsky and his very tenacious investigators are interested in one Shawn Kelley, owner/operator of the weight loss center that bears his name. Kelley has claimed to be friendly with Clemens and according to reports, Clemens has visited Kelley’s gym, a claim Kelley denies. Kelley has a history with human growth hormone (HGH) as he is on record as saying he did not sell HGH but referred people to a physician who could provide prescriptions if needed.
Lisa Routh, a psychiatrist, has apparently provided several of Kelley’s clients with prescriptions for testosterone and HGH. According to the New York Times story Routh is quoted as saying, “When you hit a wall and you’re 20 pounds away, you have to say, is there something physiological going on? Is there something medical?”
The Times story also quotes Kelley as stating he did nothing wrong saying, “She doesn’t see athlete-type people, only people — just older people that are trying to increase their quality of life. It’s totally legal; all I do is recommend people.”
Apparently Dr. Routh is not aware that HGH has not been approved for use for either anti-aging or weight loss purposes and her actions are liable to get her in a spot of trouble. And there is the ethical question of why a psychiatrist would be involving herself with weight loss issues and getting referrals from a gym owner.
Kelly is on record as admitting to HGH use saying, “I did have human growth hormone deficiency and I qualified to have it,” he said. “I haven’t done that in years.” Given the very specific and serious nature of adult HGH deficiency (GHD), and the extremely stringent guidelines for testing and determining if a person suffers from this condition, it is highly unlikely that Kelley would qualify for treatment.
The diagnosis of GHD must meet two very specific diagnosis criteria. If a person has a subnormal response to the growth hormone stimulation test and patients with GHD, either alone or along with multiple hormone deficiencies, as a result of disease of the pituitary, hypothalamic disease, surgery, radiation therapy or trauma, or patients who were deficient of growth hormone as children.
That’s pretty specific. And the inclusion of the “and” in the diagnosis criteria is pretty significant. If you check out Kelley’s website it’s safe to say that he doesn’t suffer from any of the conditions mentioned above. Don’t be bamboozled into thinking that this procedure consists of your doctor drawing some blood or some other simple diagnostic tool; the testing procedure to diagnose GHD is difficult to perform and very sensitive.
Here’s another little tidbit of info; there are estimated to be 50,000 adults with GHD in the US and only a fraction are being treated with HGH.
With every development, this story gets deeper and more interesting.
As the feds dig deeper into this mess there’s no doubt more people will be caught up in the web of deceit and intrigue spun by Clemens and his partner in scandal, Brian McNamee. As of today add the names of Dr. Routh and Shawn Kelley to the list of people whose lives have been adversely affected by their association – regardless of how tangentially – with Roger Clemens.