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Lehigh Kicker Suspended for Andro

April 12, 2000

BETHLEHEM, Pa. (AP) _ Lehigh kicker Jaron Taaffe said he didn’t know androstenedione was a banned substance when he asked his parents to buy him the dietary supplement.

Taaffe, a junior, was suspended for one year by the NCAA for taking the supplement, the school said Tuesday. The substance is most widely known as the supplement once used by Mark McGwire.

Taaffe’s career at Lehigh will end with the suspension, since Patriot League rules require players to graduate in four years unless they have an injury.

Androstenedione is one of 23 anabolic agents banned by the NCAA.

``I equated steroids with something you buy in an alley and inject yourself with,″ Taaffe said. ``You should never assume anything about supplements these days.″

Taaffe, of Marietta, Ga., was first-team All-Patriot League the past two years.

In addition to a playoff-winning field goal against Richmond in 1998, Taaffe kicked a career-long 47-yarder against Columbia that sealed a 24-23 Lehigh victory and preserved the school’s perfect 11-0 season.

``I’d like it to be clear the whole thing was a mistake on my part and I was never trying to subvert the system,″ Taaffe said.

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