From The State’s Lauren Leach.

Taped consultations with three current and former Carolina Panthers reveal Dr. James Shortt (above) advising the players how to use performance-enhancing drugs without failing NFL drug tests.

œYou came to see me … wanting some performance enhancement, Shortt said in a June 24, 2003, tape-recorded conversation with Todd Sauerbrun (above). œWe can do that ” legal performance enhancement because you™re drug tested in your profession.

Judge Joe Anderson heard excerpts from the audiotapes Thursday during a hearing in the federal steroid case against Shortt.

The 59-year-old former West Columbia alternative-medicine doctor was indicted in September and again in November on charges of illegally prescribing steroids to professional football players, bodybuilders and police.

He met individually with Sauerbrun, Wesley Walls and Jeff Mitchell in 2003.

In a Feb. 18, 2003, taped meeting with Walls, Shortt gave him this advice:

œNow here™s the key. You want to use a natural testosterone. You do not want to use testosterone or any kind of Depo (testosterone injection) because that™s how they test you. They look for the Depo.

œFor somebody like you, I can triple your testosterone levels without blowing any whistles. If you use fake anabolics ” Deca durabolin, Winstrol, you know, Anadrol ” if you start using those, those little ratios they test will skew. If you use a natural testosterone, your ratios always come out right.

Walls now is retired and lives in Charlotte.

The three tapes and 16 others were seized under a search warrant for Shortt™s office. The doctor taped his consultations and gave copies to his patients.

œIt was a nice find, Assistant U.S. Attorney Winston Holliday said. He declined to say whether the 16 other tapes involved NFL players.

Without wishing to diminsh the seriousness of the above case, I’ve gotta admit that when I think about which players in the NFL are obviously juiced up, David Boston comes to mind a lot faster than Todd Sauerbrun.