Guilty Plea in Illegal Sports Drug Case

PROVIDENCE, R.I., Oct. 7 (UPI) — A Chinese drug manufacturer and its chief executive officer pleaded guilty in a U.S. court to illegally marketing a muscle-building drug in the United States.

Lawyers entered pleas Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Providence, R.I., on behalf of the firm, GeneScience Pharmaceutical, and its founder Lei Jin, the Providence Journal reported.

GeneScience was once considered to be a major source of illegally imported human growth hormone to the United States, the newspaper said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Adi Goldstein said Jin and his company used the Internet to market the drug, sold under the brand name Jintropin, to people throughout the United States.

The illegal importing activity took place from June 2004 to July 2007 and raised $7 million, Goldstein said.

In the plea, the company and Jin forfeited $4.5 million and agreed to establish a $3 million fund to finance efforts to counter illicit doping in sports.

Jin and GeneScience were charged as part of a nationwide federal investigation targeting the smuggling of HGH, anabolic steroids and illegal pharmaceutical distribution, the Journal reported.

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