Former Pittsburgh Steelers team physician Dr. Richard Rydze (above) was was once mentioned in passing in this space (“Gary Matthews Jr. Would Like You To Understand His Position”, 2/28/2007) at the time of his facing accusations of buying over $150,000.00 of testosterone and human growth hormone with his personal credit card. On Friday, Rydze was hit with a 185-count indictment, charging him with conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids, HGH and painkillers. If he’s not guilty, either this is a lot of effort to take the heat off Lance Armstrong, or Rydze has the biggest medicine cabinet east of Scott Weiland’s house.
The indictment alleges Rydze distributed the steroids from September 2007 through March 2011. Prosecutors said Rydze and another man distributed the steroids “for unauthorized uses such as bodybuilding and athletic performance enhancement.”
Federal prosecutors said that from February 2005 through October 2011, Rydze obtained more than 21,000 hydrocodone-acetaminophen, commonly known as Vicodin ES, by calling in more than 200 prescriptions to Pittsburgh-area pharmacies.
Rydze served with the Steelers for 22 years, ending in the summer of 2007, according to ESPN.com. In a 2009 interview, Rydze told ESPN that he used human growth hormone to help patients heal from tendon and ligament injuries.
He denied giving it to players.
“It was never done in athletes,” he told ESPN. “It was never with any Steelers.”