Panthers part of steroid probe

Associated Press
Published March 14, 2005

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Investigators probing an alternative medicine doctor want to speak to at least nine current or former members of the Carolina Panthers about possible illegal steroid prescriptions, a Columbia newspaper reported.

Dr. James Shortt, a West Columbia physician, is under investigation for allegedly prescribing steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs, the State reported Sunday. The newspaper based its story on court records and anonymous sources.

Federal agents subpoenaed the Panthers for the addresses and contact information of several players as part of the probe.

"We've known about the investigation into Dr. Shortt for a short period of time and we are still trying to retrieve enough information to comment on it," Carolina GM Marty Hurney said Sunday. "We certainly are not aware of any of our players testing positive for steroids."

The newspaper reported that some of the players were on the Panthers team that competed in the 2004 Super Bowl. Neither the paper nor Hurney revealed the players' names. The newspaper said Shortt has been under investigation since May 2004 when a Columbia bodybuilder told the Drug Enforcement Administration that Shortt had a reputation for readily prescribing steroids for patients in exchange for $1,000.

SIGNINGS: The Raiders signed free-agent defensive end Derrick Burgess to a contract, the terms of which were not revealed. Burgess helped the Eagles reach the Super Bowl last season ... The Patriots signed free agent receiver-returner Tim Dwight to a one-year contract. Dwight played last season with the Chargers and had just two receptions for 31 yards while battling injuries.