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Pack’s Waddy Says No on Steroids

December 24, 1998

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) _ Jude Waddy swears his positive steroid test is a mistake, and Green Bay Packers coach Mike Holmgren is pretty sure he believes his rookie.

First off, if Waddy were taking muscle-enhancers, they aren’t working very well.

``If they’re steroids, I’m wondering what they’re doing for him,″ Holmgren said. ``You know, he’s a _ and I don’t mean to make light of it _ but he is not a big, bulky guy. And so in my conversation with him about this, he doesn’t know quite how this happened and I have a tendency to believe him.

``So we’re just going to go through the process. He tested as part of the random testing program in the league and something showed up.″

Waddy, a rookie linebacker and special teams player, was suspended by the NFL on Wednesday for testing positive for using anabolic steroids.

Waddy, who will begin serving his four-game suspension this weekend, insisted that he was wronged by the league and swore he never touched steroids.

``There are plans to appeal it, but I think we’re trying to get it out of the way so that the four games can go ahead and be tagged on now and I won’t have to worry about it next year,″ Waddy said. ``I’m clear. I haven’t been taking any steroids, but obviously there’s something that needs to be done about the testing procedure within the NFL and maybe this wouldn’t happen again.″

Waddy said the test was inaccurate and added that the league-sanctioned nutritional supplements he takes daily are being tested by a private lab to see if one of them might have been the culprit.

``They were all cleared. No androstenedione, nothing like that. Like I said, I think it’s just something wrong with the test,″ Waddy said.

``It’s obvious I’m not on steroids,″ said Waddy, a svelte, 6-foot-2, 220-pound undrafted free agent from Division I-AA William & Mary who made the team this year as a training camp surprise.

``But I did test positive and the way the NFL policies are set up and the way they handle situations like this is you’re guilty until proven innocent,″ Waddy said. ``And even if I could prove myself innocent now, I would still have to face the penalty because I did test positive from one occasion.″

Holmgren said he didn’t know if the league’s drug-testing procedures needed fixing.

``They do the very best they can do, I think. But you have a young man over here that I want to believe him,″ Holmgren said. ``And so you have this deal. But at any rate, it’s academic because he’s got the four games.″

That includes playoffs, so Waddy won’t be able to play again until next season unless the Packers reach the Super Bowl in Miami on Jan. 31.

Waddy’s spot on the active roster was taken by nine-year veteran tight end Scott Galbraith, signed because Mark Chmura (calf) and Tyrone Davis (hamstring) are ailing.

Waddy has a torn rotator cuff that would have kept him out of Sunday’s regular season finale against the Chicago Bears anyway.

But Waddy said he wanted to clear his name.

He said he didn’t even know the name of the banned steroid.

``I’m not very familiar with it,″ he said. ``I don’t know really what it is they tested me positive for. From what I was told is that the substance they found was a metabolite, like a waste product of a steroid that’s used.″

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