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Thursday 11, Sep 2008

  NFL player linked to steroid ring dropped by New Orleans Saints

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nfl-steroidsThings are not looking good for Matt Lehr. Lehr was recently dropped from the roster of the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League.

From the New Orleans Saints site:

New Orleans Saints Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis announced Sunday that the club has signed linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar to the active roster and terminated the contract of center Matt Lehr.

Dunbar, a rookie linebacker from the Boston College, signed with the Saints as a rookie free agent in April. The 6-foot, 226-pound native of Syracuse, N.Y. played in all four of the team’s preseason games this summer, making 16 tackles on defense and three more on special teams before being waived in the final round of cuts. He was re-signed to the practice squad September 1 and practiced with the team this week.

Lehr signed with team as a free agent this offseason after playing in 2007 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The 6-2, 290-pound veteran offensive lineman saw action in all four preseason games as a reserve center.

We have devoted some articles on Lehr due to his ties with confessed steroid dealer David Jacobs of Plano, Texas. Jacobs had been very vocal of Lehr’s involvement with his steroid distribution network. The scandal had gained more notoriety when Jacobs killed himself and his on-again, off-again 30-year-old girlfriend Amanda Jo Earheart- Savell in June this year, soon after Jacobs got three years probation for distributing steroids. It was reported that Lehr had romantic relationship with Earheart-Savell, a figure competitor.

Before he committed the murder-suicide, the former bodybuilder met with NFL officials on two occasions and disclosed to them the names of NFL players whom he sold steroids to, particularly past and current players of the Dallas Cowboys.

After the murder-suicide, the league released a statement, offering condolences to the families of Jacobs and Earheart-Savell. Also, it said that officials were reviewing the information provided to them by Jacobs. The statement further read that: “It is premature to comment on any specific player at this time. Anyone found to have violated our policies will be subject to discipline, including suspension. We will continue to be responsive to any needs of law enforcement on this matter.”

Lehr was a fifth-round pick by the Cowboys in 2001. He started 22 games over parts of four years before his release late in the 2004 season.
Ryan Fowler is another former Cowboys player who was linked with Jacobs’ steroid distribution ring. The league, however, had not followed through a letter sent to Fowler June this year. The letter stated that he was facing an investigation and possible suspension. Fowler, who is currently with Tennessee Titans, considered the investigation closed.

Tuesday 09, Sep 2008

  NFL’s 89th season – new rules, new steroid stories, and new team for good old Favre

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Since football is back, let’s talk about the highlights and sidelights of the NFL’s 89th season so far.

There is, of course, the retirement and unretirement of Brett Favre, which lent some melodrama to the usually action-packed league. Favre is now with the New York Jets. Then there are the new NFL rules for 2008, one of which is the use of instant replays to correct onfield officiating errors.

And there are the season-opening suspensions, which included New York Jets’ running back Jesse Chatman due to reported steroid use. He received a four-game suspension without pay for the infringement.  This incident prompted many to ask: “How is it that Chatman got suspended while Ryan Fowler is left unscathed for violation of NFL’s policy regarding anabolic steroids and related substances?”

We reported just last month that Fowler was relieved that the league did not pursue his case of alleged use of steroids. He said NFL had initially scheduled a hearing regarding the case, but the meeting did not materialize. Did the NFL forget about it or did it decide not to pursue the case anymore? Lucky for Fowler, bad fate for Chatman.

Fowler, a linebacker for Tennessee, was implicated by the now deceased David Jacobs, the reported Texas-based steroid dealer to several NFL players.  Jacobs told The Dallas Morning News before he committed the murder-suicide case in June that he had supplied Fowler with drugs before and after the 2006 season and Jacobs also provided the NFL names of players who bought steroids from him. The list of names included Fowler and former Dallas lineman Matt Lehr.

NFL sent Fowler a letter that same month stating he faced an investigation and possible suspension. Now that the said investigation did not push through Fowler considers the case closed.

Sunday 17, Aug 2008

  NFL player Ryan Fowler considers his steroid case closed

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NFL-steroidsRyan Fowler must have released a big sigh of relief when his scheduled meeting regarding his alleged use of steroids and performance-enhancing drugs was not pursued by the National Football League. This is according to the news by the AP.

Tennessee linebacker Ryan Fowler considers his steroids case with the NFL closed.

Fowler said Wednesday he hasn’t heard from the league since requesting a meeting to address allegations that he bought performance-enhancing drugs from a Texas-based steroids dealer in 2006. The NFL sent him a letter in June stating he faced an investigation and possible suspension.

Fowler said he assumes the probe has ended with no punishment planned.

“Until I hear anything else, that’s the way I’m looking at it right now,” Fowler said after practice. “I’m focusing on football. Until I hear anything else, I’ll assume it’s over.”
Fowler was linked to convicted steroids dealer David Jacobs, who was found dead with a female companion in his Plano, Texas, home in June in what police called a murder-suicide.

Jacobs told The Dallas Morning News before he died that he had supplied Fowler with drugs before and after the 2006 season, and he gave the NFL names of players who bought steroids from him.

In June this year, Jacobs killed his female companion Amanda Jo Earhart-Savell with seven gunshots from a .40-caliber semiautomatic Glock 22 that Jacobs also turned on himself. There were reports that say that jealousy played a significant role in the murder-suicide case. The two were reportedly dating each other on and off since 2007. It was alleged that the Earhart-Savell, a former figure competitor, was also romantically involved Matt Lehr, a former Dallas Cowboy lineman. Lehr, who currently plays with the New Orleans Saints, was one of the NFL players whom Jacobs implicated in the latter’s steroid distribution network.

In April 2007, Jacobs’ home was raided and federal authorities discovered that the former bodybuilder was producing and selling large amounts of steroids and other performance-enhancing compounds. It was reported that the authorities seized thousands of units of steroids during that operation. He later pleaded guilty in a Dallas federal court to steroid-distribution charges as part of his plea bargain with prosecutors. On May 2008, Jacobs got probation in exchange for his cooperation with the federal investigation of his steroid dealings. He was also told to pay a fine of $25,000.

The Jacobs’ case was part of the sweeping crackdown against distributors of anabolic steroids codenamed Operation Raw Deal in 2007. The operation was led by the Drug Enforcement Administration and resulted to raids across the U.S. and in other countries as well.

The NFL did not immediately respond to an e-mail from The Associated Press.

Fowler has denied using any performance-enhancing drugs. His attorney has pointed out that Fowler never tested positive for any banned substance and had requested to meet with the NFL.

The linebacker signed with Tennessee in 2007 as a restricted free agent and started 14 games before hurting his shoulder at Kansas City in December. He said he’s frustrated that the allegations came out and that he had to deal with the scrutiny.

“No matter what anybody says there’s going to be people who automatically assume guilty until proven innocent, which is sort of a tough pill to swallow,” Fowler said. “Now that it’s over, or seems to be over, I’m trying to move on past it.”

Fowler was born in May 20, 1982 in Redington Shores and Florida. Fowler signed with the Tennessee Titans on March 2007 and in it was in June 9, 2008 when he was implicated in a steroid scandal that has rocked the NFL. Fowler and Lehr are just two of several NFL players whom Jacobs said he supplied with steroids and PEDs.

Jacobs stated that he advised several NFL players on how to skirt the league’s drug testing programs. He said he instructed the players to have team doctors to write them for prescription drugs that would mask steroid use. He specifically mentioned finasteride, a drug prescribed for men suffering from alopecia or hair loss.

The use of steroids and performance boosters has been a big concern in the NFL for decades now. The organization began testing for these substances in the late 1980s, specifically during the 1987 season. NFL started issuing suspensions during the 1989 season. In 1992, this issue has grabbed public attention because of the death of Lyle Alzado, who played defensive line for Los Angeles Raiders, Cleveland Browns, and Denver Broncos during the 1970s and early 1980s. Alzado died of brain cancer and blamed his use of anabolic steroids for his disease. His team of doctors, however, said that anabolic steroids did not contribute to his death.

Use of steroids and PEDs are also documented in high school and collegiate levels.