Originally published Dec 14, 1983
The question concerned steroids . Marion Campbell had no answers.
"I'm not that familiar with steroids ," the Eagles' head coach said. "I don't think I've been around them. I can't make any comment on steroids . "
The source of the question was the Daily News' three-part investigation of steroids in football. Or, rather, the first part, in which several players, coaches and physicians labeled steroid use as widespread - maybe as high as 50 percent among linemen and linebackers.
And Campbell said he could say nothing.
"I only follow the guidelines of what the league puts out," Campbell said.
Last week, Eagles trainer Otho Davis said that "along the lines of anabolic steroids , I can say we've got a clean house here. "
A team spokesman, speaking for the organization as a whole, said, "Our position is that we will follow the league policy. And that is the policy outlined in the letter to the players dated November 28th. "
That letter, the Daily News revealed last week, had several focuses.
The first was to threaten players and club personnel with unspecified disciplinary actions if the league deemed that a misuse of anabolic steroids had occurred.
Next was the definition of misuse. Basically, it was defined as the use of steroids without a prescription "for legitimate medical purposes" by either a team physician or a personal physician.
From the letter:
". . . if these drugs or similar compounds are taken by otherwise healthy players - either during the season or in the off-season - with the intent merely to achieve increased body bulk, strength, stamina, or similar physical and athletic attributes, such actions will be deemed by this office as misuse and will be dealt with under the provision in each player's contract which prohibits 'stimulants or other drugs for the purpose or attempting to enhance on-field performance. ' "
The rest of the letter to the players was educational in tone, attempting to knock down the claims of steroid advocates and to warn of possible side effects.
Nowhere were methods of detection mentioned. And nowhere were penalties spelled out.
And if Campbell caught anyone who had been misusing them, as per the league's definition of misuse?
"I don't even want to comment on that, I really wouldn't. I don't know much about it. I only heard about it when it came to light with that weightlifting group (at the Pan American Games). I'm certainly not knowledgeable enough about steroids to make any comment.
"I know when I played they weren't around," Marion Campbell said.
That was in 1961.