Ford's lawyer denies mayor's trainer is convicted steroid pusher
Then Toronto Mayor Rob Ford speaks from the council chamber as councillors look to pass motions to limit his powers on Monday, Nov. 18, 2013. (Chris Young / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Wednesday, November 20, 2013 6:26PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 20, 2013 8:45PM EST
Rob Ford’s lawyer is denying reports that the mayor is receiving physical training from a Toronto trainer who was convicted in the United States of distributing illegal anabolic steroids.
Valerio Moscariello, also known as Valerio Mosca, on Tuesday posted a photo on picture-sharing site Instagram of himself, the embattled mayor and Ford’s new driver, Jerry Agyemang, at what appears to be a gym.
The image has since been taken down, but a screengrab showed the photo with the caption: ‘Putting Toronto mayor Rob Ford through a Valerio workout. The BodyPro training system!!!”
Moscariello was convicted and sentenced to federal prison in 2005 for the distribution of steroids. He is currently banned from coaching in Canada for his involvement in administering the muscle-enhancing drug.
Speaking at city hall Wednesday, lawyer Dennis Morris acknowledged that the mayor is working out, but said there is no link between Moscariello and Ford.
“This man is not his workout coach at all,” Morris said. “He has nothing to do with his workouts to my knowledge. This is not the man the mayor is training with.”
According to a report in the National Post, Moscariello spoke about Ford working hard on the treadmill and his weight loss needs. In a later interview with the Post, Moscariello said the photo was a “joke picture.”
Ford has repeatedly said he was obtaining help from a team of ‘health-care professionals’ in an effort to get his health on track after weeks of stunning confessions related to previous drug and alcohol use.
However, he has been largely evasive when asked about the details.
Despite several calls for him to do so, Ford has remained steadfast that he will not seek addictions treatment, saying he does not have an addiction to drugs or alcohol.
Moscariello, owner of Team Body Pro Athletics, is currently banned from coaching in Canada for his involvement in administering steroids.
It’s not clear how Ford and Moscariello know each other, but one common associate appears to be Agyemang, who is a bodybuilder himself.
Moscariello’s legal troubles in in the U.S. appear to date back to 2005. Officers in Henderson, Nevada, arrested him after conducting a search warrant of his home, where they seized anabolic steroids, including Primobolon Depot, Deca Nadrolone Decanoate, and Trenbolone Acetate.
According to an Associated Press report from that time, local U.S. detectives had struck an investigation after receiving information about a person distributing steroids nationwide via mail.
Moscariello was sentenced to five years in federal prison and three years of supervised release after he pleaded guilty to unlawfully possessing anabolic steroids, and to operating juiceworld.com, a website that helped distribute the muscle-enhancement drugs. The website was ordered dismantled.
The release indicated Moscariello was at the time in immigration custody awaiting a “removal hearing.”
Then in January 2010, The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport announced that Moscariello was handed a 12-year sanction after he admitted to administering steroids to boxing athlete Amanda Galle.
According to a statement on the CCES website, Moscariello said he had mistakenly injected Galle with deca-durabolin, “a steroid that he used personally.” Moscariello was identified in the statement as a “conditioning coach, personal trainer and nutritional consultant.”
With files from The Canadian Press