Tony Mandarich, the offensive tackle whom the Packers selected ahead of Barry Sanders, Derrick Thomas and Deion Sanders in the 1989 NFL draft, says he was addicted to alcohol and painkillers throughout his tenure in Green Bay.
He also has finally acknowledged what everyone has long assumed: He used anabolic steroids to build the incredible bulk that made him, according to Sports Illustrated, “the best offensive line prospect ever.”
The admissions come in an interview on Inside the NFL, which will air Wednesday night on Showtime.
I was injecting a drug called Stadol,” Mandarich says in the interview, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “And it was euphoric. I went from doing one injection on that one day, and a week later I was doing between five to seven shots a day for the next three years. … I got to the point where it was a struggle to work out three or four times a week because the priority of getting high was above the priority of working out.”
Mandarich said he gave a fake urine sample to the NCAA before the 1988 Rose Bowl, which he played in for Michigan State. He is writing a book about his drug use, but don’t expect him to name any names, the way Jose Canseco has.
“I don’t think that you should benefit off other people’s shortcomings,” Mandarich says in the interview. “In my opinion, Jose Canseco is an [expletive] for what he did, the way he did it. I mean that’s chicken [expletive].”
Mandarich played in 45 games for the Packers, starting 15. He later played in 41 games for the Colts, starting 31.


  1. As a Packer’s fan, I want to hate him for his bust of epic porportions, but I think the fact that he’s owning his problems now is classy. It’s unfortunate that his addiction demolished what could have been a promising career (albeit one that would have never lived up to the hype he got).
    Still would have been nice to have had either one of the Sanders instead.

  2. Based upon his shortcomings and lack of character, I can only assume he’ll be signing with the Dallas Cowboys any time now !

  3. It’s not his fault. It’s the Packers fault for not recognizing that his college success was steroid fueled and that he wouldn’t be able to produce in the NFL where the testing was much more stringent.
    this was the dumbest move the Packers ever made up until picking Aaron “my shoulder hurts” Rodgers over Brett “I just threw 6 TD’s” Favre.

  4. CoolHandLuke – Yes you ARE “missing” something. The subject line of the post – “Mandarich Details Alcohol, PAINKILLER, Steroid Use” (emphasis added)…. Stadol is a painkiller.

  5. Does anyone really care? This guy hasn’t been involved with or done anything lately other than make it known he is once again trying to cash in on his apparent lack of natural ability…It would be different if the guy made an impact on the game other than some draft day hype and a couple of SI covers…

  6. stadol was the “drugs and alcohol” part not the steroids part.. he felt “euphoric” when doing stadol…

  7. leave him alone, it’s a disease!
    “Based upon his shortcomings and lack of character, I can only assume he’ll be signing with the Dallas Cowboys any time now ! ”
    The Packers have never had a problem signing guys that have had issues with steroids in the past. Ask Mike Wahle.

  8. Right, I see now, just reading the article it goes from where he admitted to using steroids on “Inside The NFL” and then the article immediately quotes the Stadol excerpt. My fault for putting more emphasis on the article then perhaps I should have. Florio always seems to put as negative of a spin on steroid use as possible and I probably jumped to conclusions.

  9. Looking back at that year I did a lot of reading of who the “So called experts would pick. When the Packers were on the board. Barry Sanders was and is a very high talented and high class person. But I thought that a good offensive made sense to me because they needed one. I was happy they drafted Mandarich, (Until I saw the end results) wow… What a dud. Now we know why I guess. As far as Sanders goes I don’t think his performance would have been as good for the Packers as it was for the Lions. He was better going to a team that played on Astro-Turf. He was a great player and a person with high character. Oh well… hindsight is so nice.

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