WASHINGTON - Three FBI special agents and one FBI intelligence analyst were arrested Wednesday on charges that they concealed their use of performance-enhancing drugs, including steroids and human growth hormones.
U.S. prosecutors charged the four individuals with lying on forms that are used to assess their fitness for duty by omitting that they had conditions requiring the drugs and that they had taken them.
FBI policy prohibits the use of anabolic steroids, and while they are not illegal, they are banned from many sports although many athletes and others have used them to build up muscle quickly to enhance their performance.
The use of performance-enhancing drugs has roiled the sports world where several top athletes have been accused of lying about taking steroids and human growth hormones, including former baseball pitching star Roger Clemens.
FBI Deputy Director Timothy Murphy said the investigation was continuing and the agency was cooperating.
"FBI employees must be held to the highest standards of ethical conduct," he said in a statement. "When this information came to our attention, a thorough investigation was initiated which led to today's charges."
Two of the FBI agents arrested are married, Matthew and Katia Litton, the latter who was once a professional bodybuilder and competed in the sport in 2002. The couple was accused of spending $17,000 on the drugs since 2006, according to court documents filed on Wednesday.
He works as a special agent in the FBI's Critical Incident Response Group while she is a special agent in the FBI's Washington Field Office.
The intelligence analyst arrested, Ali Sawan, works in the FBI's counterterrorism division and he made some 90 purchases of steroids and human growth hormones between November 2007 and January 2010, according to the affidavits filed in U.S. court.
The couple and Sawan received the diagnoses of pituitary dwarfism and panhypopituitarism and prescriptions from the same doctor, who was not identified in the affidavits. That doctor alone had diagnosed 302 patients with the same conditions, the documents said.
The doctor, who worked as a part-time emergency physician for a health center and also has a practice offering "hormone modulation therapy," had written more than 5,200 prescriptions for anabolic steroids between September 2005 and January 2010, according to the affidavits. No further details on the doctor were released.
The fourth individual arrested, James Barnett, was also a special agent in the FBI's Washington Field Office and received the steroids and human growth hormones from a gynecologist, who was not named.
Court documents said that Barnett spent more than $10,000 for lab work, pharmacy purchases and other fees performed by the doctor's practice between October 2008 and January 2010. He too was diagnosed with pituitary dwarfism and other disorders.
The four appeared in court earlier Wednesday and were released pending trial without having to post bond. They were ordered to submit to drug testing, remain within 50 miles of their homes and were barred from possessing firearms.
If convicted, they each could face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. (Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
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