Rydze is latest Steelers link to PEDs
The HGH Embrace
Suddenly in the summer of 2007, Dr. Richard Rydze's long ties with the Pittsburgh Steelers were cut. His split with the team came four months after news reports identified him as an online buyer of nearly $1 million worth of human growth hormone (HGH), a performance-enhancing drug banned by the NFL. For Mike Fish's examination of the connections between the doctor's departure from the Steelers and his passion for the off-label use of HGH to treat tendon and ligament injuries, click here.
Fish will discuss his stories about Rydze and the Steelers on "Outside the Lines" on ESPN on Friday, Jan. 15, at 3 p.m. ET.
When Steelers owner Dan Rooney challenged his statements four years ago, Haslett expressed regret that they might have hurt the organization, but said, "I have a lot of respect for this league, but it's na´ve to think people weren't using enhancing drugs before they were illegal."
Haslett, a linebacker, said he began using steroids after he was drafted by the Bills. He was an assistant coach for the Steelers from 1997 to '99, and finished the 2008 season as the St. Louis Rams' interim head coach.Perhaps the most damning documentation of the Steelers' history with steroids, though, came from one of their players, the late Steve Courson, an offensive lineman who detailed his own use in a 1985 Sports Illustrated article and whose 1991 book, "False Glory: The Steve Courson Story," cast performance-enhancing drugs as a lingering league-wide problem. In the book, he wrote that 75 percent of the offensive linemen on the Steelers' late-1970s Super Bowl teams had used steroids. Before he died, Courson, living alone in a mountain cabin an hour southeast of the old Three Rivers Stadium site, also crafted an almost 5,300-word letter that served as his final treatise on doping in pro football. The unfinished, unsent, philosophical musings were discovered on his computer after Courson was crushed to death in 2005 as he cut down a tree.
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