Rose Denies Quote On PED Use In NBA

MIAMI — If the NBA is ever found to have an ongoing problem with performance-enhancing drugs — be it isolated, simmering, widespread or rampant — the smoking gun in breaking that news is unlikely to be a weeks-old, throwaway remark by Chicago’s Derrick Rose.

That’s why the minor hubbub that flared up Sunday morning prior to Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals was more silly than sensational.

It did get enough traction that Rose, through the Bulls, was moved to issue a statement a few hours before tipoff. It read:

“Regarding the quote attributed to me in ESPN The Magazine, I do not recall making the statement nor do I recall the question being asked.  If that was my response to any question, I clearly misunderstood what was asked of me.  But, let me be clear, I do not believe there is a performance enhancing drug problem in the NBA.”

Let the record show that neither the NBA nor the Players’ Association believe that, either. They maintain that the testing procedures and policies agreed to in the collective bargaining agreement and abided by on all sides are, in fact, policing the issue properly.

That’s why the response attributed to Rose in the May 16 issue of the bi-weekly ESPN publication  was so jarring — and hard to process. Rose was one of several athletes across various sports allegedly asked “How big a problem is illegal enhancing in your sport?” The athletes were instructed to respond on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 as “What are PEDs?” and 10 as “Everybody’s juicing!”

Rose’s response was printed as: “Seven. It’s huge and I think we need a level playing field, where nobody has that advantage over the next person.”

Two things happened Sunday to further the “story” that had laid around for a couple of weeks (the May 30 issue of ESPN The Mag already is out). First, Miami’s Dwyane Wade was asked about it, and PED use in the NBA, after the Heat’s shootaround session at AmericanAirlines Arena.

“No. I just don’t think there is [a steroid problem in the NBA],” Wade said. “It’s nothing I’ve ever experienced in basketball. Never seen it. It’s nothing that I think takes place.” Wade said he wasn’t aware of the comment attributed to Rose in the magazine.

The second thing that happened was, as mainstream reporters began to learn and inquire about the remark, it became clear that the format left a lot to be desired journalistically. The athletes’ answers weren’t developed. The 1-to-10 feature regularly appears in the magazine, with comments clipped tight and lacking context that might have helped. No one from ESPN followed up, in any other form, on what presumably would have been a major story.

And the possibility loomed large that what Rose was asked, or thought he was asked, differed significantly from what showed up on the final magazine page. That was the view of a Bull spokesman, who quickly denied the quote on Rose’s behalf that he was alleging a current, ongoing problem in the NBA.

The Chicago Tribune also reported:

One person close to Rose said the question was posed to him as “How big of a problem would it be if steroid use were rampant in the NBA?”

Fitting answers to questions reconfigured-and-slanted later happens sometimes in print journalism. It’s a shoddy practice, mostly thwarted these days by video or audio recordings of most interviews. But without pictures or sound of this Q&A exchange between Rose and the reporter, it’s hard to know if what was asked –- and what was answered -– were precisely as portrayed in the one-page, graphics-heavy feature.

The NBA hasn’t avoided the PED issue completely. Back in 2000, Miami forward Don MacLean was suspended for five games after testing positive for steroids. In August 2009, Orlando’s Rashard Lewis was suspended 10 games for use of a nutritional supplement that violated the league’s drug policy. Memphis’ O.J. Mayo suffered the same penalty for a similar over-the-counter infraction in January.

But that Rose would be pulling back a curtain whistleblower in such a casual, throwaway manner –- on a matter about which, as a third-year player, he might have only limited knowledge — led to skepticism robust enough that it didn’t need steroids.


  1. ToBeCompletelyHonest says:

    PEDs wont help u in basketball.. its the most difficult sport to cheat… Look at Kevin Durant, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitski, Kevin Love, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen… its not possible to cheat basketball… If somebody is using PEDs they probably are bad players and have never won a title

  2. Juice4eva says:

    isn’t it funny they ask Wade about PED’s…he’s juicing hard out

  3. Jay Taylor says:

    I could see PED’s used to increase speed and vertical. Ive seen guys like D Rose jumping ability increase beyind belief in the past 2 seasons.

  4. chibulls11 says:

    keepnitreal is a moron….must be a miami heat fan that never went to games until this year…no one wants to see rich jewish people at nba games

  5. hehe says:

    I’d rather have PED than game-fixing

  6. Scott says:

    I miss sheed too. He was one of those guys that did not take care of his body.

    Had he been taken better care of himself, he could have given another GREAT 2 or 3 years.

    Such a skilled, smart, and physically gifted basketball player. He just lacked that killer instinct like MJ, or Kobe. The game was just that to him.

  7. jacknohara says:

    Where do you guys think Dwight Howard would be if there wasn’t any PED’s avaiable ?? You guys really believe that Lebron is 260 and 6-8 and can run like that only because God was nice to him ?? Well, I believe in Santa ….

    • Jake says:

      I’ve watched video of Dwight working out and he’s nuts. I bet you would look pretty buff too if you worked out like Dwight. Also, there are people who can run a marathon (26.2 miles) at 4:45 mile pace. If people can do that, then I can definitely believe that Lebron is 6-8, 260, and all natural.

  8. Noizy says:

    I think that PED use is normal in professional sport. They catch only few but these few were just not cautious enough. It is used mostly in offseason in most sports. It helps regenerating after practice, speeds up muscle building and fat burning. When the season starts, all traces of PED usage are gone. Nobody will find something.

    The question is not if it is used. The question is how much it is used. Does everyone use it? Or only 10% or 5% or less?
    In Italy, something interessting happens to retired soccer players. They become ill. Trained and fit guys die. Heart failure, cerebral apoplexy, kidney failure and so on. Most of them not older than 45.

    A suspension for 10 games would never prevent the usage of PEDs. That is just no retribution. A suspension for 2 years and, after a second PED abuse, lifetime (means: never playing professional ball again…) would be appropriate. Thats the normal way the WADA goes in most professional sports.

    It means not, that a player has no rights or something. If he/she has another opinion (say: spiked food etc.) and that the PED usage was not intended or perceived, than you can go straight to court and file a complaint.

    What always is necessary is a screening for every athlete after a game or exhibition. If everyone is controlled, chances of clean sport rise. Now, please don’t come with the argument that this would make anyone a suspect and that this would be cruel. It just delivers a certain amount of fairness. Since there are lots of people who would never use PEDs. Now they have to play, run or swim against foes who use PEDs. That is unfair.

    Another aspect is the fitness of these athletes. Most PEDs are not very healthy. So, this would help preventing health issues, too. If you are a young guy (or girl…) you never think about issues that “can” happen years later. You use a steroid or other PEDs and you see just the advantages. The damage it does to your kidneys, heart, liver or other organs remains elusive for years. Later you get the knowledge but the damage is done and thats it.

    • Jake says:

      Funny how retired NBA players don’t become ill and die when they’re 45. I don’t see the connection between Italian soccer players taking steroids and NBA players (supposedly) taking steroids.

  9. chris says:

    When you see the intellect level of journalists nowadays, I´m sure the question was never asked to Rose. These people dont do their job anymore.

    • K Breeze says:

      My brother won a contest & got to carry the Olympic Torch for part of it’s journey. We live in the sticks, so it was a big deal around here. All of a sudden, the local papers were manufacturing quotes & interviews with him, attributing things he’d never said. And I was like, he isn’t a celebrity! He isn’t exclusive and doesn’t have a jet-set schedule… it would take NO effort at all to actually just SPEAK to the guy. But no, it was even easier than that to just make stuff up.
      So yeah, agreed, journalists have become complacent & unreliable, and I feel bad for all the D-Rose’s out there who get unknowingly blind-sided by their irresponsible incompetence.

  10. rain says:

    hey! Drose is only 22 years old! he’s young ofcourse his quickness and speed is obvious! lol!

  11. Louie says:

    I dont like the press trying to dig up dirt where there is none. It makes no sense to me. How can you hold a player accountable for taking something that is sold over the counter. It is a tricky law that can punish a player for taking something that is legal to all. I dont think it is fair. I understand the NBA and NFL competition committees and I see a big red tape here. If I were to work as hard as they did I would expect not to be questioned if took legal supplements

  12. LAKERS says:


  13. LAKERS says:

    maybe D-Rose was referring PED’s as performance enhancing drink so what Rose understood from the question is that the PED must be Gatorade yeah PED’s rampant in the nba coaches bathe in them.

    good job for the media to bait and make a false story once again. hey you guys must be working for west / buss and david stern along with the ORLANDO SENTINEL AGENTS

  14. LOS ANGELES! says:

    we’ll kobe did use PED’s to recover faster from injuries and provide limited burst of stamina. but aside from him nobody uses PED’s as it leads to a higher risk for injuries and reduces an NBA players peak years by half. unlike soccer players who dope alot w/c is quite really ridiculous to their sport w/c lacks athleticism and besides flopping wins games in soccer where in nba flopping is penalized aside that it makes the flopper look like a complete idi-o t

  15. lctpp2 says:

    Man, what is up with all these unrelated comments from these guys. from the first few comments.

    Anyways, Rose was most probably given or presented a question differently. I don’t think he meant that it is a rampant problem. Well, the league might have had certain cases so it might exist but it isn’t the biggest issue. The biggest issue is probably preventing things such as organization being able to create power teams that we once thought was only possible via trades done in sports games.

  16. henry says:

    oh my gosh man he was like the freken man and LA respected him to the fulliest omg you freken noob go home you no nothing about nba apart from bloging about hahahahahahahahaha nooooooooooob

  17. Rifraf says:

    Well first and foremost, as an ex-professional athlete, the stories of PED’s in sports INCLUDING basketball is excessive. Players are made aware of their test dates well in advance of them, giving them enough time to clean up or “camaflouge” the evidence. HGH as well as few other “natural” PED’s go more or less undetected, other than the abnormally high testosterone levels. Furthermore, most of the administoring doctors are on the take. People, remember, these sports are great traditions and entertainment as well as competitive displays of superior athleticism. But also remember, professional sports combined is a multi trillion dollar business. PED’s enhance this business. I dont take anything away from the hard work and dedication that these athletes (including myself many moons ago) put into their careers. But I do frown upon the “cheaters” in highschool, college, NBA, and professional sports. I am a victim of losing a spot on a roster to someone who had enahnced their abilities during the off season, when I had worked just as hard if not harder than them. And his PED use was not a secret. This is just my experienced view on this subject.

    • Jake says:

      Did you play in the NBA? If not then how would you know anything about steroid use in the NBA. Also, if someone has abnormally high testosterone levels, then there is an investigation. HGH doesn’t go “more or less undetected.”

  18. Keepnitreal says:

    First off, I do not like derrick rose, i dont like any part of his game. He takes way too many freaking shots. He shoots around like 40-% from the floor. He shoots like 10-25 every game. He makes bad decisions. And they still give him the MVP. He darn well don’t deserve it. I don’t like BUT he is a pro and you can only hope he doesn’t do anything to wreck. Now there’s a possibility that hes on performance enhancing drugs. That will kill his career man. They’ll call a “cheating MVP”. Like I said before, I don’t like him but I don’t want him to do harmful to his career.

    • bigs says:

      you have to be the biggest idiot to ever write on any blog. tow of the starting five were out for double digit games and rose carried them to the best record of course he took shots. who would you rather take shots? keith bogans. you goose! so you dont like the high flying dunks or the crazy layups or his fast brak plays? wow you must not know anything about basketball at all or not be able to see a good player when he takes to the court. how is there a possibility that hes on drugs? wheres your proof has anyone even come out and hinted that hes taken steriods? you are a goose!

  19. kidveesh says:

    What did Phil Jackson really mean to Los Angeles?

  20. akfjdls says:


  21. gary says:

    Wheaties? Maybe the federal government could spend billions investigating…..

  22. McLovin says:

    I wouldn’t put it past that some players COULD be using PEDs, but the likeliness isn’t there. Players drop weight/add muscle every offseason and some guys come back looking more cut, but that’s all hard work. Rashard Lewis was taking a work-out supplement that contained some illegal contents, but he said that while he was willingly taking the supplement, he didn’t read further into what he was taking/what was in the supplement and also took full responsibility for his actions and released an apology. There are baseball players to this day that have shattered records in their late thirties clearly because of steriod use and has tainted the sport forever. However, with players like Rose, Kobe, Lebron, and Wade, there is no way these guys are juicing. As a comment stated above, it may give them confidence, but sinking shots doesn’t require you to be completely jacked (ask Kevin Durant). Basketball should be the last of the big 4 American sports to worry about steriods, and they handle their situations very accordingly.

  23. 210 says:

    dont they say, if you aint cheatin then you aint tryin. and its only a crime if you get caught. of course guys are going to use performance enhancers. and just like anyone that uses any type of drug, they know how to avoid detection. when you have the spotlight and the pressure, you will do anything to gain an advantage on your competition.

    • Rob says:

      You speak as if you know from experience. I’m wondering if you’ve ever played professional sports. My guess is no. Your just another second guessing, judgmental fan thinking you know what your talking about based off hearsay and supposed reports from other athletes in other sports. Please be quiet you sheep. Your baaing is annoying.

      • BullsFan22 says:

        Funny that you use the term ‘sheep’ here. You know what being a ‘sheep’ means? It means you are like sheep, because you follow the shepherd without ever asking yourself WHY. You are being hauled in by the shepherd, with no pondering and in this case, the media is your shepherd, you believe everything you see or hear on tv, newspapers and internet.

  24. Ventruck says:

    It can be seen either way. Doping is prevalent in other sports, and unfortunately done by the bigger names people look up to. How can you not expect it in something as involving as basketball? I mean PED’s wouldn’t exactly land shots, but physiological advantages in endurance and toughness would be desirable.

    But at the same time, given the same point about the high anaerobic demands in basketball, I’m surprised some players aren’t all that trimmed even without PEDs.

    I can’t actually make up a suspicion, but I’d guess there a possibility. Some players significantly bulk up or lose pounds over the course of an off-season, but I’m keeping faith it’s their work ethic producing such results. I will support enforcement at least, if it doesn’t induce any significant costs to the NBA amidst the considerations of a lockout.

    • jwy of Singapore says:


      though Miami Heat is lack of bench players


      • Niko From OZ says:

        God not Sheed, Camby – yes, Martin – maybe. But Sheed needs to stay retired, according to him he never committed a foul in his entire carrear & i’d rather have someone else jacking up ill timed 3’s & generally creating turnovers.

        Other than that… MIAMI HEAT 2011 Champs

    • @ says:

      Congrads to the heat for playing well in the playoffs. Congrads to Lebron for possibly winning his first ring, after seven seasons and abondoning one team to join another to chase a ring. Congrads to Wade for possibly winning his second ring. Too bad to most NBA fans these rings wont mean a whole lot being that Lebron and Wade and Bosh had to join together to get it done. But hey, congrads anyway. Hate to stop watching NBA basketball but if the heat win, thats what ill do.

      • BMOC7447 says:

        Can u please cry abit more so more people will care?

      • Zeraphael says:


      • King6 says:

        silly,..crazy fan from cleveland?..haha moved on man,..heat are just 6 wins away from the ring, you should make sure get out on nat’l TV to lend you even 5 mins of their free time to show the world you are CRYING!! even if you will get #1 draft you still be a loser because your owner Gilbert is not a good boss, mybe at the end of playoffs, he will blame again one of his player for giving up,….haha really he is damn immature executive.

      • HeatWave says:

        Good, stop watching, stop commenting on blogs and just leave it all alone. We will all be greatful. Thank you.