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Out-of-country stem-cell therapy doesn’t violate league policy


Several of you have asked an important question in response to the news that Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and free-agent receiver Terrell Owens recently have received stem-cell therapy in other countries.

Given that these procedures currently aren’t legal in the nation in which the National Football League plays its games, does the pursuit of these procedures in other countries constitute a violation of the league’s banned substances policies?

They don’t, according to NFL spokesman Greg Aiello.

Aiello tells PFT via e-mail that "[t]he procedure in and of itself is not prohibited under the steroids policy.”

Clearly implied in this response is that the procedure becomes prohibited if banned substances are used as part of the procedure. And that goes without saying. But with the league constantly revising the list of things players can and can’t do, don’t be surprised if non-U.S.-approved stem-cell therapy lands on the roster of NFL “thou shalt nots.”