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Goodell unaware of more NFL names in Internet steroids investigation

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Commissioner Roger Goodell has no knowledge that any other NFL personnel are involved in an Internet drug operation being investigated by the Albany (N.Y.) District Attorney's office.

The investigation led to the recent suspensions of New England Patriots safety Rodney Harrison and Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson.

"We have been in touch with them for several months now, working with them, and we have responded, reacted and dealt with all of these issues," Goodell said Wednesday after attending a stadium groundbreaking for the new Meadowlands home of the Jets and Giants. "We'll continue to stay in touch with them."

A third NFL person involved in the investigation was Dr. Richard Ryzde, one of the Pittsburgh Steelers' team doctors. He had earlier been fired by the team.

Harrison was suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

Wilson was suspended for five games and fined $100,000 for buying and using performance-enhancing substances. The 48-year-old former NFL quarterback said he took the drugs to try to "improve the quality of my life" after living with diabetes for more than 20 years.

This has been a long summer for Goodell in terms of off-field issues, highlighted by the Michael Vick case. The Atlanta Falcons quarterback pleaded guilty to a federal dogfighting charge in Richmond, Va. His sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 10.

"I'm not focusing on him at all," Goodell said. "I'm focusing on our season now. I think our fans are. They want us to be talking about football and we open up tomorrow night."

The NFL season starts Thursday night with the Super Bowl champion Colts playing the New Orleans Saints in Indianapolis.

The offseason also has seen Goodell suspend several high-profile players, including Adam "Pacman" Jones of Tennessee, for off-field actions he deemed detrimental to the league.

The commissioner doesn't think NFL fans are overly consumed with the problems.

"No, I believe that our fans recognize the way we have dealt with these issues," Goodell said. "I hope they respect it and support it and I think they are ready to talk about football now, and start rooting for their teams, their players and coaches. That's what makes our game special."

On another issue, Goodell was not sure whether he would be attending Congressional meetings on retired players and their benefits.

"If I could be helpful, I said I would try to be helpful," Goodell said. "We are working with people in Washington and we are working on a broader basis to show we are responsible (to their needs.)"

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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