Naval Academy acknowledges delay in steroids tests

Updated: November 18, 2006, 7:14 PM ET
Associated Press

BALTIMORE -- U.S. Naval Academy officials waited more than two months to give urine tests to five football players who acknowledged early last year that they had used steroids, a disclosure prompting lawmakers to call for a congressional probe into the matter, The Sun reported Saturday.

Experts told the newspaper that the delay acknowledged Friday by academy officials would have allowed any trace of the banned drugs to disappear.

"I think it's very important that we know who made the decision to test these young folks two months after we had good cause for suspecting illegal drug use," Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md. told the newspaper. Cummings is on the academy's Board of Visitors, a civilian oversight panel.

"I want to know who made the decision, why that decision was made, and I think that whatever answer that is provided should be one that every single member of the board should be very much interested in knowing."

Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., also called for a probe of the academy's handling of steroid use.

"The Naval Academy and its students occupy a unique place as American role models, and as such they must adhere to the highest possible standards," Waxman said.

Vice Adm. Rodney P. Rempt, the academy superintendent, and Col. David Fuquea, who handled internal disciplinary proceedings for the players and is now the assistant athletic director, declined to comment through a spokesman. The players also declined to comment.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press