Biggest Loser Illegal Drug Allegations Under Investigation

The Los Angeles Sheriff's Office is investigating NBC weight-loss show The Biggest Loser amid claims that participants were provided with illegal drugs on set to help them lose weight, according to CBS Los Angeles. The investigation reportedly began in May 2016 after "a journalist advised Malibu/Lost Hills station personnel of a news report regarding unsubstantiated allegations of illegal narcotics use in the past" on the set of the hit series.

Negative press is mounting against the long-running reality competition. In May 2016, the New York Post interviewed a handful of contestants from past seasons, some of whom said they were supplied with drugs containing an extract banned by the FDA in 2004. "Bob Harper was my trainer," a 2008 contestant named Joelle Gwynn said of her time on the show. "He goes away and his assistant comes in. He's got this brown paper bag that's bundled up. He says, 'Take this drug, it'll really help you.' It was yellow and black. I was like, 'What the f*** is this?'" Gwynn said, "I felt jittery and hyper...People chastise Bill Cosby for allegedly offering meds to women, but it's acceptable to do to fat people to make them lose weight. I feel like we got raped, too."

More complaints followed

Another former contestant, Suzanne Mendonca of Season 2, told the New York Post that contestants would take "amphetamines, water pills, diuretics, and throw up in the bathroom." She said, "They would take their spin bikes into the steam room to work up a sweat. I vomited every single day. Bob Harper tells people to throw up: 'Good,' he says. 'You'll lose more calories.'"

Producers of The Biggest Loser denied the allegations in a statement to the Post. "The safety and well-being of our contestants is, and always has been, paramount. We prohibit the use of any illegal substances, in addition to the many other rules and procedures of the show that are designed to ensure safety."