Several lawmakers are calling for an investigation into steroid use — often paid for with tax dollars — by New Jersey law enforcement officers and firefighters.
The requests follow an investigation by The Star-Ledger of Newark that found at least 248 officers and firefighters had obtained steroids, growth hormone and other muscle-building drugs from a Jersey City doctor.
The physician, Joseph Colao, died of heart failure at age 45 in 2007. He had patients who worked for municipal police departments, the state Department of Corrections, the state police, the NJ Transit Police Department and county sheriff’s and corrections departments.
The newspaper found Colao often falsified diagnoses to justify his prescriptions for the substances. The paper also reported the officers and firefighters used their government benefits to pay for the drugs in most, if not all, cases.
Assembly deputy speaker John McKeon asked Attorney General Paula Dow to open a criminal inquiry and to determine the extent of the problem.
“These people should go to jail,” McKeon said. “They shouldn’t be on the public dole for substances that are, for the most part, illegal and might constitute insurance fraud.”
Some lawmakers said law enforcement officers should be tested.
Sen. Loretta Weinberg said she would sponsor a bill that would bar the State Health Benefits Plan from paying for steroids or growth hormone unless prescribed by specially trained doctors who treat hormone disorders.