According to ESPN The Magazine, he did but according to Derrick Rose himself, “That’s something I didn’t say.”
In the May 16th issue of the magazine, the following question was posed to Rose along with his response:
“If 1 equals ‘What are PEDs (Performance Enhancing Drugs)’? and 10 equals ‘Everybody’s Juicing’ … How big of an issue is illegal enhancing in your sport?”
Rose: “Seven. It’s huge, and I think we need a level playing field, where nobody has that advantage over the next person.”
That would be the first time many people have heard of serious doping in basketball, but Rose is saying he was misquoted.
This is the statement Rose issued through a team spokesperson regarding the misquote:
“Regarding the quote attributed to me in ESPN The Magazine, I do not recall making the statement nor do I recall the question being asked. If that was my response to any question, I clearly misunderstood what was asked of me. But, let me be clear, I do not believe there is a performance enhancing drug problem in the NBA.”
Maybe the question was worded differently, maybe Rose just misunderstood. Either way, he’s distancing himself from those statements in the magazine.
Here’s what Rose said prior to Game 3 against the Heat last night:
“I don’t even remember saying that,” Rose told a large group of reporters. “That’s something I didn’t say. I don’t know where he got it from. That’s why I released the statement to clarify things. I definitely wouldn’t say that. I guess he misunderstood at the time. There’s definitely not a drug problem in the NBA. If there was, we get tested four times, so it would definitely show up. You definitely don’t want to go through this. But things like this happen. I clarified things. It’s in the past now. On to the game.” -Source
While it would be naive to believe every basketball player is ‘playing by the rules’ when it comes to performance enhancing drugs, there’s no reason to believe it’s a “problem” in the league.
Any suspension handed down to an NBA player for taking banned substances has usually been from an over-the-counter purchase of a supplement which contained the banned substance. There’s no Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosas, or Jason Giambis in the NBA, or at least that we know of.