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Chargers cleared in stickum investigation, face a fine

Kansas City Chiefs v San Diego Chargers

SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 1: Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on November 1, 2012 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

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The Chargers are mostly out of a sticky situation.

While they’ve been cleared for their alleged use of a stickum, they will have to pay a $20,000 fine for not immediately following directions of game officials, according to Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego.

The NFL cleared them of any wrongdoing from the incident during their Oct. 15 game with the Broncos, when officials questioned a towel which a member of their equipment staff carried onto the field during a timeout.

The towels were provided by Gorilla Gold, and includes a wax-based substance similar to the tacky surface of gloves players wear. The league conducted a three-week investigation, and found the towels were widely used and gave no competitive advantage. However, they won’t be allowed on game days the rest of the season, and the league’s competition committee may review their use later.

The fine stems from the fact that the equipment man didn’t immediately come clean, as it were, when asked what he was packing. The Chargers are appealing.

“As a result of the failure of club staff to follow the directive of a game official to immediately surrender the towels when directed to do so,” the league said in a statement, “and to attempt to conceal the towels, the Chargers have been fined $20,000.”

Frankly, it’s kind of a boring end to a story that seemed interesting at one time. It’ll get even worse when the league announces a partnership with an official sticky towel manufacturer, a transaction which will likely involve more than $20,000 changing hands.