The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

October 23, 2012

Steelers' former doctor pleads not guilty

Associated Press

PITTSBURGH — A former Pittsburgh Steelers team doctor accused of trafficking in steroids allegedly issued painkiller prescriptions in the name of his deceased father to feed his own addiction.

Federal prosecutors say Dr. Richard Rydze was “nothing but obstructive” and continued to issue prescriptions for narcotics even after his license to prescribe drugs had been suspended.

Rydze was released Monday to home confinement after pleading not guilty to charges in a 185-count indictment. He’s accused of conspiracy to illegally distribute steroids, human growth hormone and painkillers including oxycodone.

Rydze was a Steelers team physician for more than 20 years but federal authorities don’t list any players as having received drugs illegally from him.

Investigators say Rydze falsely diagnosed more than 90 patients with pituitary dwarfism so they could receive unneeded drugs.