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NFL seeks stronger testing on testosterone

The NFL wants stronger testing for testosterone in its steroid program to be in line with the Olympics.

NEW YORK (March 30, 2005) -- The NFL wants stronger testing for testosterone in its steroid program to be in line with the Olympics.

The league is seeking an agreement with its players' union on tighter standards, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said. The league proposes a change in the ratio between testosterone and epitestosterone in the body that would be in keeping with what the International Olympic Committee has in place.

Aiello noted the NFL has always adhered to the IOC standards and wants the change because the Olympics have upgraded their standards.

Such a move would need approval of the NFL Players Association. Gene Upshaw, the union's executive director, has been a staunch advocate of more stringent steroid testing.

Aiello said the timing of the league's request had nothing to do with a CBS News report that will air on 60 Minutes Wednesday. It said Carolina Panthers Todd Sauerbrun and Jeff Mitchell and former player Todd Steussie had steroid prescriptions filled by a South Carolina doctor now under investigation by federal authorities.

The CBS report said the players all had prescriptions for testosterone cream filled within two weeks of the Panthers' appearance in the 2004 Super Bowl. In addition to the cream, which is banned by the NFL, Sauerbrun -- one of the league's top punters -- obtained syringes and the injectable steroid Stanozolol, which is also banned by the league.

The prescriptions reportedly were written by Dr. James Shortt, who is the subject of a Drug Enforcement Administration probe for allegedly prescribing steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.

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