The Big Show had
company. On a sign-in sheet from Aug. 27, 2002, obtained by SI, Corey's name
appears between that of Randy Poffo (a.k.a. the since-retired professional
wrestler Macho Man Randy Savage) and that of the late wrestler Brian Adams
(a.k.a. Crush). SI also obtained invoices and receipts for drugs from Miller's
clinic, signed by Poffo, who could not be reached for comment. Records indicate
that other Miller clients included former major league pitcher Anthony Telford,
who admitted to investigators that he had purchased testosterone from Miller,
and late WWE wrestlers Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero, who was paying Miller
$300 to $400 a week for testosterone and HgH. As one investigator told The Palm
Beach Post in October, Miller was "the Victor Conte of professional
elevated testosterone level, Miller advised him to stop using steroids for a
while, then put him on a more controlled cycle. The results were
unquestionable. In addition to the added bulk—within a year, Corey's 5'5"
frame swelled from 120 pounds to 160—he was breezing through his workouts and
improving his times. "Steroids completely change your mind-set," he
says. "They turn you from being an athlete into a monster. A monster in the
everyday world is not a good thing, but when you are trying to win a
1,000-meter race against five of the best guys in the world, monster is a great
mind-set to have."
a hairdresser, had little contact with her son after he left Michigan. As much
as she wanted him to stay home, she knew how much skating meant to him. Whether
it was being 1,200 miles apart or, as she believes now, the moodiness caused by
the drugs, their relationship chilled. "I remember he used to call every
now and then and be very angry, and I couldn't figure it out," she says.
Still, she would try to watch him skate in big competitions. When she glimpsed
her son at a 2002 meet in Watertown, Wis., she gasped. "I couldn't believe
how different he was," she recalls. "I said, 'Wow, you really grew.' He
was overly muscular."
Corey says that
his relationship with his dad would move in lockstep with his results. When he
won, he claims that he was rewarded with televisions, PlayStations and even an
American Express gold card. On the rare occasions that he lost, he says, his
dad wouldn't speak to him. "We had our bouts because I very much wanted a
dad and he wanted a business-type relationship," Corey says. "At a
young age it's hard to understand why winning all the time matters so
much." The father dismisses this complaint: "I'm not some raging animal
standing outside throwing stuff against the wall."
entered a business partnership with Miller to offer laser hair-removal
treatments. The two had a falling out in April 2003, however, and Jim set up
his own business in Orlando selling anti-aging drugs, including testosterone
and human growth hormone. But first he blew the whistle on Miller, alerting the
Hillsborough County sheriff's office that Miller's clinic was a front for
illegal steroid distribution and that Miller was providing
performance-enhancing drugs to a minor—Corey. Jim neglected to mention his own
NOT LONG after,
Corey, then 14, left Florida to train with a team in High Point, N.C. He moved
in with Tracy Patterson, who had gotten involved with in-line skating through
her two children. Patterson's husband and 11-year-old son had recently been
killed in an auto accident while returning from a meet. "I was lost and to
have Corey in the house was a relief," says Patterson. "He's just an
incredible kid, a great guy."
continued his steroid and HgH regimen, locking himself in the bathroom to
inject the drugs that his father mailed to him. To help get through his
workouts, Corey says he was supplementing his performance-enhancing drugs with
painkillers, particularly Nubain, procured through a Florida doctor. "When
you are jamming yourself with a thousand milligrams of testosterone cypionate,
your body is running high, [and] to sleep at night you either have to be
extremely exhausted or you are going to have to use something to come
down," he says. "It's so easy to get sidetracked and take other things
because if you are doing one, why not do them all?"
For all the
tension in Corey's life, his skating kept improving. At 15 he was a national
champion at 500, 1,000 and 1,500 meters. In July '05, Corey, then 16, competed
at the U.S. Indoor Speedskating Championships. His time of 2:26.39 in the 1,500
meters shattered the national record in the sophomore men's category by more
than two seconds, remarkable given that most speedskating marks are eclipsed by
tenths if not hundredths of a second.
By that time,
Corey had already failed his first drug test. A month earlier, at the U.S.
National Road Championships in Colorado Springs, his urine sample indicated
elevated testosterone levels. He was allowed to keep skating, but when he gave
a follow-up sample on Aug. 1, that test also indicated the presence of
19-norandrosterone, revealing yet another banned steroid.
professed shock to anyone within earshot. He hired a lawyer to protest the
timing of the appeals process while asserting that Corey's testosterone level
was high because he was tested shortly after a long-distance race. As for the
19-norandrosterone result, he suggested that it was caused by a tainted
supplement. Privately, Jim was stunned. He believed the steroids he'd been
procuring were undetectable. (His source was Signature Pharmacy, the Orlando
compound pharmacy that was the target of a high-profile raid in February '07.)
"Corey should never have tested positive," he says.