NBA legend LeBron James’s name has been mentioned in a federal investigation into performance-enhancing drugs.
Unredacted federal documents that were part of the 2023 Biogenesis investigation mention the Los Angeles Lakers star, but it does not in any way accuse him or suggest James has taken banned substances. However, long-time friend and business manager Ernest Mims, as well as trainer David Alexande, have both been suspected.
Alexander was also listed as a Miami-based personal trainer for Savannah James, the wife of the four-time NBA champion.
The documents say the DEA claim Mims bought controlled substances for personal use without intending to supply them to anyone else. But according to ESPN, he was not changed with a crime and federal authorities never interviewed him as part of the case.
James’ representatives have told ESPN he had no knowledge that he, his wife, or any of his associates were included in the investigation until approached by the sport’s broadcaster last year. While James has not been accused of taking any performance-enhancing drugs, this form of publicity is the last thing he needs as he prepares for his 21st NBA season.
After suffering a 4-0 defeat to the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals last season, the 38-year-old is determined to improve on that result next year. While the 19-time All-Star pursues another championship in 2024, he has committed to representing Team USA at the Paris Olympics next summer.
The NBA’s all-time leading scorer did not play for the gold medal-winning American sides in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 or in Tokyo in 2021. According to The Atheltic, James has called other star players in the league to represent the nation with him, such as Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Jayson Tatum, Draymond Green and Lakers teammate Anthony Davis.
This comes after another disappointing performance at the FIBA World Cup. Team USA failed to win a medal at the recently concluded event after Germany defeated them in the semi-finals. Their miserable run ended when Canada prevailed 127-118 in the bronze medal match.
Perhaps the writing was on the wall when they succumbed to defeat against Lithuania in the group stage, but it did not affect their qualification for the knockout rounds. The result marked just the seventh time in 38 appearances at the Olympic or World Cup level that the Americans left empty handed.
“The United States hasn’t won the World Cup since 2014,” US coach Steve Kerr said. “It’s hard. These teams in FIBA are really good, well-coached, they’ve got continuity and they’ve played together for a long time. This is difficult and it’s been difficult already.”