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Ex-Pittsburgh Steelers doctor leveled with drug charges

Federal prosecutors have accused a Pittsburgh physician who was the team doctor for the Steelers for 20 years with supplying bodybuilders and other athletes with performance-enhancing drugs and painkillers over the past seven years. Two other men were also charged in what the U.S. Attorney's Office is calling a drug conspiracy.

The doctor at the center of the federal indictment, which was handed down on Oct. 17 but not revealed until Oct. 19, is accused of prescribing steroids and other prescriptions after giving false diagnoses to his patients. For example, the FBI claims, he diagnosed around 90 people with pituitary dwarfism. That condition is typically diagnosed in childhood, but federal agents say the patients were adults that were over five feet tall. They claim that one of the patients was 61 years old and 5 foot 11 inches tomorrow.

Other patients supposedly visited the accused doctor to obtain prescriptions for steroids and other drugs that bodybuilders can abuse to increase muscle gain and athletic performance, the indictment said. One of the men included in the indictment is accused of conducting "steroid clinics" with the doctor. The other defendant is accused of conspiring with the doctor to write prescriptions for painkillers to the third defendant's relatives and selling the pills.

The accused doctor was the Steelers' team physician until 2007. The indictment claims that the drug activities date to 2005, but prosecutors are not accusing him of providing steroids to players on the team. His defense attorney described him as having a clean criminal record and being a highly respected member of the Pittsburgh community.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Former Steelers doctor charged with improper drug distribution," Rich Lord, Oct. 19, 2012

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