BY BILL HUTCHINSON
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Monday, January 14th 2008, 4:00 AM
Grammy-winning singer Mary J. Blige blasted a report Sunday night linking her and other A-list celebrities to doctors and pharmacists targeted in a statewide steroid investigation.
Blige was identified in the Albany Times Union Sunday as being among a handful of entertainers who have allegedly ordered performance-enhancing drugs in recent years.
"Mary J. Blige has never taken any performance-enhancing illegal steroids," the singer's spokeswoman Karynne Tencer told the Daily News.
The R&B singer leads a roster of entertainers named in a probe by Albany County District Attorney David Soares, the Times Union reported.
Rappers 50 Cent, Timbaland and Wyclef Jean and actor Tyler Perry also allegedly ordered steroids or human growth hormone from doctors and pharmacists targeted in Soares' investigation, according to the paper.
Authorities have uncovered no evidence the celebrities violated any drug laws. Timbaland, Jean, 50 Cent and Perry could not be reached for comment.
The Times Union, citing unnamed sources, claims Blige and the other stars sometimes used fake names to receive prescriptions allegedly signed by Dr. Gary Brandwein of Florida.
Brandwein, an osteopath, was named last year as the doctor who prescribed steroids to Chris Benoit, the pro wrestler who killed his wife, son and himself. The doctor is awaiting trial in Albany on drug charges.
The unproven anti-aging effects of steroids have tempted entertainers, experts said.
The thrust of Soares' investigation has been to cut the steroids pipeline by cracking down on suppliers he compared to modern-day cocaine dealers.
So far, 10 people have pleaded guilty to felony charges, including three doctors and the operators of anti-aging clinics in Texas, Florida and New York.
"Pretty much anyone with a computer can go out and obtain ... things that shouldn't be obtained without the control or observation of a treating physician," Soares told the Times Union.
Soares' probe has zeroed in on Signature Compounding Pharmacy of Orlando, whose owners are also awaiting trial in Albany.
Records obtained by the Times Union indicate that between 2005 and 2007, Blige received multiple shipments of HGH and anabolic steroids from an Orlando pharmacy believed to be Signature.
Soares' investigation into Signature has also uncovered the names of several major league baseball players who have allegedly ordered steroids from the pharmacy, including Mets reliever Scott Schoeneweis.
The report claimed that Blige, 50 Cent, Timbaland and Wyclef Jean all allegedly had steroids or HGH sent to Long Island chiropractor Michael Diamond, an anti-aging consultant at the Clay Gym in Chelsea. Diamond, who has not been accused of wrongdoing, could not be reached.
"Clay's position on any kind of steroids use would be absolutely zero tolerance," said the gym's owner, Robin Brown, adding that Diamond has "done wonderful things" advising members on nutrition and supplements