Cowboys Coach Wade Wilson Suspended

The Associated Press
Saturday, September 1, 2007; 3:34 PM

NEW YORK -- Dallas quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson was suspended for five games by the NFL on Saturday for buying and using performance-enhancing substances.

Wilson, a 48-year-old former NFL quarterback, also was fined $100,000. He said he took the drugs to try to "improve the quality of my life" after living with diabetes for more than 20 years. He acknowledged he acted without "proper medical supervision."

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Wilson would return to his job after his suspension ends Oct. 9.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said both Wilson's suspension and the suspension Friday of New England safety Rodney Harrison stemmed from the investigation by the Albany (N.Y.) district attorney's office. Authorities there have been looking into an Internet ring involving performance-enhancing drugs and allegedly involving athletes from a number of sports.

Aiello said the third NFL person involved in the investigation was Dr. Richard Ryzde, one of the Pittsburgh Steelers' team doctors. He had earlier been fired by the team. Rydze and Wilson fall under a provision of the NFL's drug policy that makes any league employee possessing or using performance enhancers subject to discipline.

Harrison, who missed much of last season with shoulder and knee injuries, was suspended Friday night. He said during a conference call that he never used performance-enhancing drugs but added: "I did admit to the commissioner that I did, in fact, use a banned substance."

ESPN reported the substance was human growth hormone.

Wilson said in a statement issued by the Cowboys that the "situation is the result of an uninformed decision that I made."

"I accept responsibility for my mistake," he said. "Clearly, as a coach and former player, I had no intention of trying to circumvent the boundaries of competition or fair play. I now realize that this is something I should not have done. I acted without proper medical supervision and I would urge others not to make a similar mistake."

Jones said Wade _ who played in the NFL from 1981-99, mostly with Minnesota _ had "absolutely no intention of breaking any league rules."

"He has a long track record of quality service to the NFL and community service to the cities where has played and coached," Jones said. "We recognize and support the importance placed on these matters by the National Football League. We also support Wade Wilson during this time and look forward to his contributions to the future of the Dallas Cowboys."

On Friday, 10 World Wrestling Entertainment performers were punished for ordering drugs, mostly human growth hormones, that violate the company's drug policy.

WWE said it issued suspension notices based on independent information from the Albany district attorney's office in the same investigation that involved NFL personnel.

© 2007 The Associated Press