SportPharm, Prescription Drug Tracker for NFL, Claims to be Cleared in DEA Probe of Chargers

A Huntington Beach company that tracks medications used by NFL players reportedly claims its been cleared in a federal investigation that followed the May 2010 arrest of former
San Diego Chargers safety Kevin Ellison, who had 100 painkillers illegally in his possession when his car was stopped in Redondo Beach. SportPharm, which moved to Surf City after the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) probe started, adds it no longer works with the Chargers but does serve other NFL teams.

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The company's revelations in USA Today come as DEA announced Tuesday it has closed an
investigation into team doctors for the Chargers and the San Diego Padres. Files seized from Chargers doctor David Chao indicated he'd written more than 100 prescriptions with himself listed as the patient while Padres doctor Harry Albers had done the same six times.

But the physicians are
“now in compliance” with their record-keeping for prescription drugs, according to the DEA.
“Our case is now closed,” spokeswoman Amy Roderick reportedly said.

Attorneys for the doctors and now-defunct RSF Pharmaceuticals blamed the pharmacy's faulty record-keeping for causing Chao and Albers to come under clouds of DEA suspicion in the first place.

While officials at SportPharm are saying they, too, have been cleared, Chao still faces a state medical board investigation into an unrelated patient care matter.

Ellison, a former Los Angeles Times All-South Bay/Westside Player of the Year out of Redondo Union High School, went on to star at USC before being drafted in the sixth round by the Chargers in 2009. He last played in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks and now dons the uniform of the Arena Football League's Spokane Shock.

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Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.

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