Doctor Sentenced to Prison For Selling Steroids to Wrestlers
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) _ A doctor convicted of selling steroids to professional wrestlers was sentenced Friday to three years in prison.
George T. Zahorian, 43, a urologist, stood silently as U.S. District Judge William W. Caldwell sentenced him. Zahorian also was fined $12,700 and ordered to serve two years’ probation after his jail term, which starts Feb. 3.
Zahorian said he plans to appeal the conviction.
A federal jury in June convicted Zahorian of distributing steroids. At the trial, he said he sold the body-building drugs to Hulk Hogan and Rowdy Roddy Piper, among other wrestlers.
Piper and four other wrestlers testified they bought steroids from Zahorian after 1988, the year their sale for non-medical use became illegal.
Hogan was subpoenaed to testify, but the judge excused him from appearing on grounds that Hogan’s privacy outweighed the prosecutors’ interest in convicting Zahorian. The wrestler has denied any wrongdoing.
After Zahorian’s conviction, World Wrestling Federation owner Vince McMahon admitted briefly using steroids he obtained from Zahorian several years ago.
In an emotional statement Friday, Zahorian said the ordeal had been difficult and he pleaded for leniency.
Prosecutors said Zahorian sold the drugs for profits estimated in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. But the doctor said financial gain wasn’t his motive. He said he wanted to help the wrestlers and tried to wean them off the drugs.
Zahorian claimed the wrestlers were his patients and friends, and that a government informant had intimidated him into selling large amounts of the drugs.
No wrestlers were convicted because until February this year buying steroids was legal.