Panthers practice squad player violates steroid policy

Updated: October 19, 2005, 5:05 PM ET
Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Aden Durde, a practice squad player with the Carolina Panthers, left the team Wednesday after the NFL cited him for violating the league's steroid policy.

Durde, a linebacker, was assigned to the Panthers through the NFL International Development Practice Squad program. He said in a statement that the league told him he tested positive for nandrolone on August 1 during a routine preseason drug test.

"In England, I bought and ingested a supplement that, without my knowledge, contained the banned substance," Durde said in the statement. "I apologize to the NFL and to the Carolina Panthers for this mistake because in no way did I intend for this to happen."

Nandrolone is an anabolic steroid that three British sprinters, Linford Christie, Mark Richardson and Dougie Walker, all tested positive for at some point, resulting in them being banned from competition.

The Panthers are extremely sensitive about steroids since a television report alleged that a South Carolina doctor wrote illegal prescriptions for three players.

Dr. James Shortt was indicted last month on 29 counts that included distributing steroids and human growth hormones. He pleaded not guilty last week to the federal charges.

A CBS News report in March identified center Jeff Mitchell, tackle Todd Steussie and punter Todd Sauerbrun as having filled steroid prescriptions written by Shortt. Several other former Panthers were also named as Shortt's patients in subsequent media reports.

Of the players identified in the initial CBS report, only Mitchell remains with the team.

Panthers coach John Fox had no immediate comment about Durde, and the team did not announce he had failed a test until after Fox had met with the media on Wednesday.

Durde was allocated to the Panthers as part of an NFL program that sent eight players from around the world with NFL Europe League experience to spend the 2005 season on the practice squad of an NFL team.

Durde is from England and spent last season playing for Hamburg of NFL Europe, posting six tackles. He said he intends to return to England.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press