EASTON, Pa. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said yesterday it is investigating an equipment reconditioner that allegedly failed to perform safety tests on used football helmets before sending them back onto the field.

The company, Circle System Inc., of Easton, allegedly failed to perform impact tests on helmets it was paid to refurbish, the New York Times reported.

The safety commission said in a statement provided to the Associated Press that it has "an open and active investigation" into Circle System. About 200,000 football players ranging from 8 years old to college age wore helmets that failed to undergo the proper testing, the paper said. It wasn't immediately clear which schools and communities were affected. Schutt Sports, of Litchfield, Ill., a leading manufacturer of football helmets and faceguards that purchased Circle System in 2005, said it has taken steps to address the problems.

The company noted that the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment, which mandates testing protocols for reconditioned equipment, found no evidence that the testing lapses posed a risk to players wearing reconditioned helmets. *