police investigate possible illegal drug use on set of the biggest loser

By Christine Pelisek
Updated June 01, 2016 09:10 AM
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Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s investigators confirmed Tuesday that they are looking into allegations of illegal drug use on the set of NBC’s The Biggest Loser.

An investigation began earlier this month 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 television reality show, The Biggest Loser,” according to a sheriff’s release. “Based on the information contained in the news report, Malibu/Lost Hills Station personnel are conducting an inquiry regarding the unsubstantiated allegations.”

Producers from the show told PEOPLE that the allegations are “without merit and false.”

“According to the Sheriff’s Department, they are ‘conducting an inquiry regarding unsubstantiated allegations,’ ” according to a statement obtained by PEOPLE. “We believe these allegations are without merit and false. The safety and wellbeing 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.”

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The show’s trainer Bob Harper adamantly denied the drug allegations.

“These allegations are absolutely false and are in direct conflict with my lifelong devotion to health and fitness,” he told PEOPLE. “Safety is paramount in my training regimen and, while demanding, my approach has always focused on the overall well-being of contestants as they lose significant weight and educate themselves, for the first time, on living a healthy lifestyle.”

Season 10 winner Patrick House continues to credit The Biggest Loser for saving his life, and is also speaking out against the allegations that claim contestants were given weight loss pills.

“From the very beginning, NBC, The Biggest Loser, all the executive producers were very up front that certain things had a zero tolerance policy – weight loss pills, diet pills, diuretics,” House said. “I find it hard to believe that there would be rules involved in not using them from the same people that would encourage and hand them out to other contestants.”