No admission of guilt or wrongdoing in case

Updated: September 29, 2004, 10:41 PM ET

SEATTLE -- The doctor at the center of a prescription drug scandal involving the Washington softball team has agreed to stop practicing medicine in a settlement with the state Medical Quality Assurance Commission.

Dr. William Scheyer's state case is closed, his lawyer said Wednesday, with no admission of guilt or wrongdoing by Scheyer, a former volunteer team physician for the Huskies softball squad.

"Volunteering and involvement with young people have always been my greatest joys but it is time for me to slow down," Scheyer said in a news release issued by a Seattle public relations firm.

"I firmly believe in one's obligation to share time and experiences. I will now focus on finding new ways to give of myself," Scheyer said.

Scheyer was suspended from practicing medicine last Oct. 17 after state health investigators accused him of improperly handing out thousands of doses of prescription narcotics.

In a sworn statement last year, Scheyer admitted prescribing thousands of doses of narcotic painkillers, sedatives and tranquilizers. Scheyer was known to athletes as "Dr. Feelgood" and "The Candy Man."

In an internal university report released in April, some softball athletes said they had played in games after taking muscle relaxants. The report determined no one intended to harm players, but their health was placed at risk.

Attorney David Martin said through a publicist that Scheyer agreed to settle the case with the state "to avoid the expense and distraction of further hearings and testimony in the matter."

Neither Scheyer nor Martin would agree to interviews with reporters, the publicist said.

The news release said Scheyer is continuing to cooperate with the U.S. Attorney's Office in a federal criminal investigation. No federal charges have been filed.

Scheyer's case was among several problems last year for the Washington athletic department. The drug scandal led to the firing of former softball coach Teresa Wilson.

Former football coach Rick Neuheisel was fired after he gambled on the NCAA basketball tournament, and former athletic director Barbara Hedges retired earlier this year.

The university hired new administrators over the summer in president Mark Emmert and athletic director Todd Turner, and Heather Tarr was hired as the new softball coach.