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Former Steelers doctor gets 10 years for steroid and painkiller distribution

Investigation Reveals Widespread Drug Use In Australian Sport

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 21: A general view of medical vials and syringes on February 21, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. The Australian Crime Commission on February 7th released findings from a 12 month investigation into Australian sport, uncovering the possibility of match fixing, drugs in sport and links to organised crime. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

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A former Steelers team physician was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison after being found guilty of conspiring to illegally distribute anabolic steroids, human growth hormone and narcotic painkillers.

According to Jonathan Silver of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 68-year-old Richard Rydze was sentenced Tuesday after being convicted last May on 180 counts. He was accused of distributing painkillers since 2005 and trafficking in human growth hormone and steroids since 2007.

He left the Steelers in 2007, and the period in which he was accused of steroid and HGH trafficking did not overlap with his employment with the team. He was accused of acquiring more than 21,000 Vicodin tablets from February 2005 through October 2011.

Rydze was tried in Cleveland since he had been the doctor for the FBI in Pittsburgh, and prosecutors in Ohio presided over the long trial.

“Rydze violated his legal, professional and ethical obligations,” Justin E. Herdman, U.S. attorney for the northern district of Ohio, said in a statement. “He flooded Pennsylvania with dangerous painkillers and prescribed steroids to enrich himself.”

Rydze was also ordered to pay $32,390 in restitution and $18,300 in special assessments according to the statement from prosecutors.