By Barry Svrluga and Rick Maese
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, May 20, 2010; D03
Washington Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said Wednesday the team has not been contacted regarding a federal investigation into the activities of a Canadian doctor who was arrested last September en route to the Washington area to treat a Redskins player.
"We'll let the due process take care of itself," Shanahan said. "But I'm not going to answer to every type of question that comes -- some doctor comes to town and supposedly is seeing a player. The NFL is on top of all those things. If there's any validity to it, they will contact me and contact our organization, which they have not done."
Anthony Galea was charged Tuesday with, among other things, illegally bringing human growth hormone over the border on several trips to treat professional baseball and football players as well as golfers. Though sources have identified one of the NFL players as a Redskin -- one who received treatment last August, and was due to meet with Galea again last September before the doctor was arrested -- most players and coaches insisted Tuesday, following an offseason workout, that they weren't aware of the player's identity.
"We really don't know," defensive end Andre Carter said. "But if that day does come up, and they discuss who the suspect is, we'll plan accordingly. But regardless, if he did or didn't make that mistake, he's still family. We won't turn our backs on him."
The issue dominated discussion during the first of four sessions of organized team activities, which concluded Wednesday. When news broke that a Redskin was involved in the investigation Tuesday, players' cellphones began lighting up with text messages. Some said it could affect preparations for Shanahan's first season as head coach -- particularly if the player is suspended by the NFL.
"It's kind of disappointing, as far as that whole deal goes," wide receiver Malcolm Kelly said. "A lot of people are accused of doing it all the time. To come out now when we're out trying to get everything together, it's just another distraction."
Some players weren't eager to discuss the topic. Wide receiver Devin Thomas said, "I ain't got nothing to say about that." Veteran receiver Santana Moss, who is recovering from minor offseason knee surgery after problems had plagued him for three years, said: "I'll talk about football. I don't know about nothing else. I ain't got nothing to do with nothing that ain't about me."
Others even tried to joke about the matter.
"Was my name mentioned?" quarterback Donovan McNabb said. "You know, I've been recently losing weight."
Players, though, were aware that any players in question could still be on the roster. The affidavit said that, in September 2009, a professional athlete from the Washington area called an assistant of Galea's the night before a meeting at a local hotel, where the athlete rented two rooms. A source familiar with the investigation said the athlete in question was a Redskin. Several Redskins also acknowledged the pressure NFL players are under to overcome injuries and return to the field. But veteran defensive end Phillip Daniels -- who has endured multiple injuries throughout a 13-year career -- said a player who knowingly used HGH could be viewed differently in the locker room.
"There's no excuse," Daniels said. "Every guy knows that we can't use that. Every guy knows that. You know if you're using it, that ain't a good thing.
"Any other supplement that you use -- I can see something over the counter, that you bought at the store, you get tested and you come up positive. That's different. You didn't know it was in there. But HGH, you know what that is. You know what that is. There's really no excuse."
Daniels said he frequently calls an information line established by the NFL Players Association -- sometimes for himself, sometimes on behalf of teammates -- to ask questions about supplements.
"Even if you call it in, they tell you you're still responsible for what you put in your body," Daniels said.
It is not, though, unusual for players to seek treatment outside of the team's staff, be it for physical conditioning or treatment of injuries.
"I've had guys who've had five or six people work on them all the time -- massages, their own workout people," Shanahan said. "Everybody's a little bit different with how they take care of their body."
Staff writer Jason Reid contributed to this report.