Controversy just seems to follow John Rocker.
Hours after reports surfaced that Rocker's name was on the client list of a pharmacy under investigation for steroids distribution, the publicist for the former Braves closer said Rocker has admitted to using human growth hormone, the New York Daily News reported on its Web site Tuesday night.
Rocker, however, insists he only took HGH for medical reasons.
"That was a growth hormone that was prescribed by a doctor in relation to his rotator cuff surgery in 2003, so I don't really think there is anything to the story," Debi Curzio, Rocker's publicist, told the Daily News.
The contention that HGH was used in post-surgical treatment, however, goes against generally accepted medical practices, the newspaper reported. HGH is normally used to pituitary problems and other growth-related issues. Furthermore, it would still have to be explained why Rocker decided to use Allied Pharmacy of Mobile, Ala., one of the pharmacies involved in the alleged online steroids ring.
This, of course, is not the first time John Rocker has been in the public spotlight under contentious conditions. In a January 2000 issue of Sports Illustrated, Rocker took shots at minority groups from Asians to homosexuals to Jews.
"Imagine having to take the 7 train to the ballpark, looking like you're riding through Beirut next to some kid with purple hair, next to some queer with AIDS, right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time, right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It's depressing."
Rocker last appeared in a major league game in 2003, for Tampa Bay. He attempted another comeback in 2005, but was never added to a big-league roster.