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Doctor in Steroid Probe Suspended

Associated Press
Saturday, April 16, 2005; Page D03

The doctor at the center of a steroid investigation involving Carolina Panthers players was suspended by the state medical board in Columbia, S.C., and was called a "serious threat" to public health.

The South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners said James Shortt prescribed the steroid testosterone to four unidentified male patients "in doses and frequencies that were extremely unlikely to have been prescribed with any legitimate medical justification."

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An accompanying document from a state Labor Licensing Department investigator said the dosage and refill levels for the testosterone "provide a strong indication" that they were used for medically unnecessary purposes such as increasing muscle mass.

A medical board spokesman declined to say whether any of the four males cited in the suspension order were members of the Panthers. CBS News reported last month that three Carolina players filled prescriptions from Shortt for banned steroids less than two weeks before the team played in the 2004 Super Bowl.

Shortt denied any wrongdoing. "I'm annoyed," he told the Charlotte Observer for yesterday's editions. He has not decided whether to contest the suspension, his lawyer, Ward Bradley, said.

BRONCOS: Denver re-signed restricted free agent cornerback Lenny Walls, a move the team needed to make after losing Kelly Herndon in free agency.

Walls dislocated his shoulder three times last season, missing nine games. Still, the Broncos put a "first-round tender" on him at the start of free agency, meaning any team that signed him would have to part with a first-round draft pick.

Details of Walls's new contract were not disclosed.

PACKERS: Free agent safeties Arturo Freeman and Earl Little signed with Green Bay.

Freeman, a fifth-round draft pick of Miami in 2000, played there under new Packers defensive coordinator Jim Bates.

Little, 32, is in his eighth year in the NFL, having played six of his seven seasons with the Cleveland Browns.

TEXANS: Houston re-signed backup offensive lineman Milford Brown. Brown, a four-year veteran, has played in six games for the Texans since being selected in the 2002 supplemental draft out of Florida State.

LIONS: Detroit re-signed cornerback Andre Goodman to a one-year contract. The Lions drafted Goodman in the third round three years ago.

STEELERS: Free safety Chris Hope agreed to a one-year , $650,000 contract.

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