A Sheriff’s Department spokesperson confirmed that, while not currently undergoing an official investigation, it was conducting a inquiry into “The Biggest Loser” following the surfacing of allegations. Both the producers and show trainer Bob Harper denied the claims last week, when the report first surfaced.
The producers of “The Biggest Loser” issued the following statement to Variety in light of the inquiry: “According to the Sheriff’s Department, they are ‘conducting an inquiry regarding unsubstantiated allegations.’ We believe these allegations are without merit and false. The safety and well-being of our contestants is, and has always been, paramount. Contestants are told at the start of the show that there is zero tolerance for any weight loss drugs. 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.”
In a report published by the New York Post, former contestant Joelle Gwynn made some explosive allegations, claiming that Harper gave her weight-loss drugs and that she witnessed contestants being coerced into other extremes to shed pounds.
“Bob Harper was my trainer,” she said in the report. “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?'”
Season two contestant Suzanne Mendonca was quoted reporting similar occurrences when she was on the show, saying that she “vomited every single day” to lose weight.
The producers and Harper both issued statements of denial at the time. The show’s resident doctor, Rob Huizenga, also denied the report.
“The safety and well-being of our contestants is, and has always been, paramount,” said the statement from “The Biggest Loser” producers. “Contestants are told at the start of the show that there is zero tolerance for any weight loss drugs. 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.”
Several former contestants also spoke publicly on social media to say that they were never asked to use drugs on “The Biggest Loser.”