Redskins T Jansen: 'Small number' of players use HGH

Updated: September 7, 2006, 6:34 PM ET
Associated Press

ASHBURN, Va. -- Washington Redskins tackle Jon Jansen said Thursday it would be "very naive and foolish" to think NFL players aren't using human growth hormone.

Jon Jansen

But he backed down from his statement that "maybe 15, 20 percent" of the league's players use illegal performance-enhancing substances.

Jansen used those percentages during an interview broadcast Wednesday night on HBO's "Costas Now." If accurate, that would translate to about 300 players -- including 10 or so Redskins.

"What I meant by it was that it was a small number of players," Jansen said. "Being a football player, I'm not real good at math. When you do the numbers, it sounds like a bigger percentage than it really is. I meant it was a small percentage of guys."

Jansen, however, did not shirk from making strong comments about HGH, for which there is no reliable test. He said he knows of no Redskins teammates who use it, "but other guys have talked about what goes on in other places."

"When there is something out there that people believe is going to help them, we'd be very naive and foolish to think that if you can't test for it, guys are going to try it," Jansen said. "Right now there is not a test for human growth hormone, and when they develop that, I hope the NFL will institute that in our drug policy. If there's anybody on our team that would use it, there would be guys on our team who would confront him and say, 'Hey, this is not something we want to do.' But right now, I'm sure there are guys that use it, and it's part of the world that we live in."

Jansen said he was offered illegal substances by someone "outside the organization" while recovering from his ruptured Achilles' tendon in 2004.

"I wear my name on the back of my jersey," Jansen said. "My wife has my name now and my child has my name. My parents have my name. It's nothing I'm going to soil just because I want to come back a little faster. It wasn't a chance that I wanted to take."

Most of the Redskins didn't have much to say regarding Jansen's comments on HGH. Coach Joe Gibbs' comment was typical: "To be quite truthful, I don't know what it is."

"There's so many different drugs out there and they don't put any labels on them," fullback Mike Sellers said. "If it's going to benefit them and it's not in the drug-testing program, I'm pretty sure guys would take them."

Still, Jansen's words carried weight because he's a respected veteran, the longest-tenured player on the Redskins roster.

"If I've got to be the guy who steps up and says, 'Hey, this is something we need to address, then so be it.' That's the position I'm going to take whenever I'm asked about it," Jansen said.

Jansen's comments were aired on the same day that commissioner Roger Goodell addressed the league's drug program with reporters. The commissioner said he was working with the players' union to strengthen the program to keep pace with the increase in the number of performance-enhancing substances and the efficiency of masking agents.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press