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Vick enters drug treatment program at Kansas prison

RICHMOND, Va. -- Michael Vick left Virginia on Monday to
enter a drug treatment program at a Kansas prison, a move that
could reduce the former NFL star's 23-month sentence on a federal
dogfighting conviction.

The suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback is now at the U.S.
Bureau of Prisons minimum security facility in Leavenworth, his
attorney, Billy Martin, said.

"Mr. Vick hopes to participate in programs offered at that
facility, including the Bureau of Prisons drug treatment program,"
Martin said in a statement.

Vick tested positive for marijuana in September while he was on
supervised release following his guilty plea. The residential drug
treatment programs at Bureau of Prisons institutions take place in
units set apart from the general prison population, lasting at
least 500 hours over six to 12 months, according to Bureau of
Prisons policy.

Upon successful completion of the program, nonviolent offenders
may be granted up to one year of early release. Staff members
review the inmates' records and behavior to determine if they are
eligible for early release.

If Vick was granted early release, he could be ready to play in
the 2009 football season, though he is currently suspended without
pay by the NFL.

"Mr. Vick looks forward to being reunited with his family upon
completion of his sentence," Martin said. "He is hopeful that
following his release he will have the opportunity to resume his
career as a professional football player."

Vick was accompanied by U.S. marshals when he left the Northern
Neck Regional Jail on Monday morning, said Maj. Ted Hull of the
Warsaw, Va., jail.

Yahoo! Sports first reported Friday that Vick planned to enter a
drug treatment program at Leavenworth.

Vick and three co-defendants raised pit bulls and trained them
for fighting behind the property he owned in rural Surry County.
Several dogs that did not perform well in test fights were
executed.

The 27-year-old player pleaded guilty in August, admitting he
bankrolled the dogfighting operation and helped kill six to eight
dogs. He had been held at the Warsaw jail since he surrendered Nov.
19 in anticipation of his sentence.

Vick lost all his lucrative endorsement deals and still must
contend with additional legal woes: He and co-defendants Purnell
Peace, Quanis Phillips and Tony Taylor are facing state animal
cruelty charges in Surry County. Vick's trial is set for April 2.