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SI: Romanowskis’ Friend Got Pills

August 16, 2000

NEW YORK (AP) _ Denver Broncos linebacker Bill Romanowski and his wife directed a friend to obtain more than 500 appetite suppressant pills _ more than five times the amount that would have been prescribed on a standard diet plan, according to law enforcement documents obtained by Sports Illustrated.

The magazine reported in this week’s edition that the Romanowskis directed Lori Johnson to obtain the large quantities of Phentermine, a controlled substance, from September 1998 to January 1999.

Romanowski was indicted last week on four felony counts accusing him of using the diet drug, which some doctors believe helps athletes by speeding up their metabolisms. He is due to appear in court Aug. 28.

Julie Romanowski faces eight counts of fraudulently obtaining a controlled substance and conspiracy. Her scheduled arraignment was postponed until Oct. 5.

Johnson and Dr. Randall Snook were accused of participating.

Johnson pleaded guilty in January to conspiring to illegally obtain a prescription drug. Snook pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and received 18 months’ probation.

Johnson’s lawyer told the magazine that on numerous occasions, at the Romanowskis’ request, Johnson obtained Phentermine and prescription-strength ephedrine and delivered both to the Romanowskis’ house.

Citing unidentified sources close to the case, SI said former Bronco Martin Harrison provided a written statement to prosecutors detailing Romanowski’s alleged offers of pregame stimulants. One white player told the grand jury that Romanowski suggested the substances would allow him and Romanowski to compete on a level field with African-American players, the magazine said.

A spokesman for the Douglas County, Colo., sheriff’s department, which was involved in the investigation, said Tuesday night the sheriff’s office wasn’t aware of the allegations and couldn’t comment on the grand jury investigation.

SI said Romanowski’s lawyer Jeff Springer acknowledged that the grand jury looked at the possibility his client was providing drugs to players, but, Springer said: ``The jurors obviously rejected that theory.″ He also denied Romanowski said anything about black players.

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