Former Cowboys defensive lineman Tony Casillas says that when the team was winning Super Bowls in the 1990s, players frequently used a medication meant for horses.
Asked on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas about Ray Lewis’s alleged use of a banned substance contained in deer antler spray, Casillas said he doesn’t know about that — but he does know about another substance that was prevalent in the Cowboys’ locker room.
“When I heard about deer antler spray, when I heard that, I said, ‘That’s nothing,’” Casillas said. “We used to use this stuff called DMSO. That’s what veterinarians put on horses, on a muscle, so this is stuff that you can rub, and we used it in the locker room. We had a bottle and you’d take it. It goes straight to the bloodstream. And I’m not sure about this deer antler stuff, but, I mean, it was prevalent in our locker room. It’s called DMSO. You get it from the veterinarian and it goes right to the bloodstream. It’s an ointment that’s like anti-inflammatory. You put it on your skin and you put it on a muscle, and I guarantee you, in about 30 minutes you’d feel it. It wasn’t on the list. If you’re going to talk about the deer antler stuff, we used DMSO and people knew it. Everyone knew about it.”
DMSO is an abbreviation for dimethyl sulfoxide, and although it is rarely mentioned in performance-enhancing drug scandals these days, its use by athletes was the source of some controversies in the 1980s and 1990s. In 1981, then-Falcons quarterback June Jones said he and his teammates regularly used DMSO and argued that it should be legalized for human use. Although veterinarians prescribe DMSO for animals as an anti-inflammatory, the FDA has approved DMSO only for very limited use for people with a chronic bladder condition, and has warned that DMSO is often fraudulently marketed as a miracle drug for humans, and that it has significant side effects.
Casillas noted that “it wasn’t on the list” of substances banned by the NFL, although he also seemed to acknowledge that it was improper for Cowboys players to obtain a prescription from a veterinarian and then use the substance on humans.
“Let’s put it this way: If you’ve got to get it from a veterinarian, it’s probably — it’s kind of like getting Winstrol V, they’ve got to get it from a vet, but that’s a steroid,” he said.
Casillas made his comments in a radio appearance in which he promoted a health center that urges men to get their testosterone levels checked and to take prescription testosterone if their levels are low. But in that case, men are getting testosterone from a medical doctor, not a veterinarian.