View Full Version : Doctor says NFL drug test falls short

08-29-2006, 01:26 AM
The NFL's drug-testing (http://www.srch-results.com/lm/rtl3.asp?si=77&k=drug%20testing) program is inadequate, warned a doping expert who examined medical records (http://www.srch-results.com/lm/rtl3.asp?si=77&k=medical%20records) that linked several former Carolina Panthers players to steroids and human growth hormone (http://www.srch-results.com/lm/rtl3.asp?si=77&k=human%20growth%20hormone).

Dr. Gary Wadler, an internist and author who specializes in drugs in sports, prepared a report that federal prosecutors used in their case against James Shortt, who pleaded guilty to conspiring to illegally prescribe steroids to several Carolina Panthers. Last month, the doctor, formerly of West Columbia, S.C., was sentenced to one year and one day in prison.

In the report, Wadler said medical records showed Shortt prescribed steroids and human growth hormone (http://www.srch-results.com/lm/rtl3.asp?si=77&k=growth%20hormone) (HGH) to several players for more than a year during the team's Super Bowl season of 2003. During that time, no player was suspended for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.

The NFL does not test for HGH, but every player is randomly tested at least once a year for steroids.

"I think that's something the NFL has to look into, because it's striking that none of them had a positive drug test or were suspended for violating the substance-abuse policy," Wadler told The Associated Press on Monday. "How can that be?"

A member of the World Anti-Doping Agency, Wadler assailed the NFL's failure to test for HGH, noting the International Olympic Committee administered a blood test for HGH at the 2004 Athens Games.

"The only way (players) could get caught (using HGH) is if someone walked in and they were being injected, because clearly there's no testing being done," Wadler said. "In a way, they're sending a message: 'Look, you can take it, because we're not going to test for it."'