Former Steelers doctor gets 10 years for steroid and painkiller distribution

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A former Steelers team physician was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison after being found guilty of conspiring to illegally distribute anabolic steroids, human growth hormone and narcotic painkillers.

According to Jonathan Silver of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 68-year-old Richard Rydze was sentenced Tuesday after being convicted last May on 180 counts. He was accused of distributing painkillers since 2005 and trafficking in human growth hormone and steroids since 2007.

He left the Steelers in 2007, and the period in which he was accused of steroid and HGH trafficking did not overlap with his employment with the team. He was accused of acquiring more than 21,000 Vicodin tablets from February 2005 through October 2011.

Rydze was tried in Cleveland since he had been the doctor for the FBI in Pittsburgh, and prosecutors in Ohio presided over the long trial.

“Rydze violated his legal, professional and ethical obligations,” Justin E. Herdman, U.S. attorney for the northern district of Ohio, said in a statement. “He flooded Pennsylvania with dangerous painkillers and prescribed steroids to enrich himself.”

Rydze was also ordered to pay $32,390 in restitution and $18,300 in special assessments according to the statement from prosecutors.

73 responses to “Former Steelers doctor gets 10 years for steroid and painkiller distribution

  1. I’m sure the Steelers would like recall a gentler, simpler time like the 70s when there was no steroid abuse on their team…

  2. Were they all winking and nodding at the sentencing. “You never dealt in any of these things when you were in any way affiliated with the NFL or more specifically the Steelers…. RIGHT?” *Nodding and pointing at the tape recorder.

    “Absolutely not, I never was around any of these illegal performance enhancing substances when I was in any way affiliated with the Steelers organization.”

  3. “He left the Steelers in 2007, and the period in which he was accused of steroid and HGH trafficking did not overlap with his employment with the team. He was accused of acquiring more than 21,000 Vicodin tablets from February 2005 through October 2011.”
    ——————
    So he started acquiring vicodin in 2005 but left the Steelers in 2007????? That would be an overlap.

  4. Yeah I’m sure he was squeaky clean and had the highest moral standards while he was the team doctor and physician for the FBI. He just turned to a life of crime in his late 50’s after leaving the team. It’s so logical I can’t see how anyone would question a man of such integrity.

  5. He got into vastly more trouble than Mike Neal. Then again the Mike Neal thing never happened according to the NFL. Neal was just coming off a career best and never received as much as a camp try out. He last game was in the playoffs. He had 2 sacks and a forced fumble. Guess he as washed up after 5 seasons? I guess in the long run Neal’s punishment was far worse. He lost millions of dollars since he got blackballed during the cover up.

  6. Did everybody miss this part?
    “He left the Steelers in 2007, and the period in which he was accused of steroid and HGH trafficking did not overlap with his employment with the team.”

  7. steeldominance says
    Did everybody miss this part?
    “He left the Steelers in 2007, and the period in which he was accused of steroid and HGH trafficking did not overlap with his employment with the team.”
    >>
    Right. Just like John Cslipari stopped cheating when he came to Kentucky. Right.

  8. For Pat fan talking trash in this topic… you better hope TB12 is what it claims to be and Brady’s buddy Guerrero isn’t giving Tom anything “extra” with the program.

    Spy gate and Deflategate won’t destroy Brady’s legacy and jeopardize his HOF candidacy… but an HGH or PED bust certainly will.

  9. steeldominance says:

    March 23, 2018 at 8:40 am

    Did everybody miss this part?
    “He left the Steelers in 2007, and the period in which he was accused of steroid and HGH trafficking did not overlap with his employment with the team.”
    ————
    Can you read this? “He was accused of acquiring more than 21,000 Vicodin tablets from February 2005 through October 2011.”

  10. 10 friggin years?! You have drunk drivers who are convicted of vehicular manslaughter who get less time and this guy gets 10 years.

    The entire system has misplaced friggin priorities

  11. The Steelers have had a culture and history of PED use back to the 70’s. Funny, as I look at this now maybe that is where he learned about this behavior.

  12. As soon as I read this, it reminded me of the scene from Varsity Blues when Bud Kilmer tries injecting his RB’s knee with painkillers and Billy Bob flips out.

  13. Braz says:
    March 23, 2018 at 8:47 am
    For Pat fan talking trash in this topic… you better hope TB12 is what it claims to be and Brady’s buddy Guerrero isn’t giving Tom anything “extra” with the program.

    Spy gate and Deflategate won’t destroy Brady’s legacy and jeopardize his HOF candidacy… but an HGH or PED bust certainly will.

    0 0 Rate This

    —————

    there are adult morons who believe in spygate, deflategate, the tooth fairy and there are adults who believe facts, truths and who went to college.

    the steelers cheated with roids for decades and peyton manning cheated with hgh

    plain and simple

  14. He left the Steelers in 2007, and the period in which he was accused of steroid and HGH trafficking did not overlap with his employment with the team. He was accused of acquiring more than 21,000 Vicodin tablets from February 2005 through October 2011.
    —————————–

    ha, yeah, just happened to start the day after he left the Steelers, bet this cost the Rooney’s a pretty penny.

  15. 10 years seems pretty excessive for this crime. Seems disproportionate to what other offenders of violent crimes might receive for their offenses.

  16. Who was interviewed by federal authorities about $150,000 worth
    of human growth hormone and anabolic steroids in 2006???

    ANSWER: richard rydze

  17. Braz says:
    March 23, 2018 at 8:47 am

    For Pat fan talking trash in this topic… you better hope TB12 is what it claims to be and Brady’s buddy Guerrero isn’t giving Tom anything “extra” with the program.

    Spy gate and Deflategate won’t destroy Brady’s legacy and jeopardize his HOF candidacy… but an HGH or PED bust certainly will.
    ————————————————————————-

    The HGH “issue” certainly hasn’t hurt Peyton Manning’s legacy.

  18. It’s amazing how Patriot fans and non-winning teams have so much hate for the Steelers. Especially non-winning teams fans.

    Tell you what; if your team constantly sucks (which is most of the league) why don’t you focus your anger on the moves your GM is about to make on the draft and free agency instead of hating teams who know what their doing? What a concept huh?

  19. Technically it’s not cheating when it isn’t against the rules. Steroids use was not banned until 1987. If you read about the subject it sounds like most doctors were prescribing it to deal with injuries and pain. Not a lot of research was done back then roids and much like cigarettes back in the day, doctors would prescribe it as medicine becasue it would be gratifying to an individual for a short period of time.

  20. Well, this makes it official. When do the Rooneys turn in their trophies and rings? Every Steelers’ Superbowl win is now nothing but a sham.

  21. There is this awesome Justin Timberlake song, it’s called, “Cry me a river.”

    Only losers sit around worrying about steriods or no steriods. Who cares. These men are rich and could less about fans opinions as long as they get paid. But please fans from other teams, keep chirping.

  22. harrisonhits2 says:
    March 23, 2018 at 8:40 am

    And if you believe he wasn’t juicing the Steelers I have a bridge to sell you.
    ===========================

    Why would a team of professional football players need painkillers, HGH and steroids? The statements that Rydze kept these dealings separate from Steelers are totally believable. :rollseyes emoticon:

  23. It’s amazing how Patriot fans and non-winning teams have so much hate for the Steelers. Especially non-winning teams fans.

    Tell you what; if your team constantly sucks (which is most of the league) why don’t you focus your anger on the moves your GM is about to make on the draft and free agency instead of hating teams who know what their doing? What a concept huh?
    ———————————————————————————-
    It’s amazing how Steelers fans constantly call the Patriots cheaters but then want to deflect every time there’s evidence like this of the Steelers cheating.

  24. dirtyback says:
    March 23, 2018 at 9:56 am
    Technically it’s not cheating when it isn’t against the rules. Steroids use was not banned until 1987.

    ———-

    So taping other teams signals from wherever one wants on the field in 2001, 2003 and 2004 was also not against the rules. Thanks for clearing that up for us.

  25. realdealsteel says:
    March 23, 2018 at 9:53 am
    It’s amazing how Patriot fans and non-winning teams have so much hate for the Steelers. Especially non-winning teams fans.

    Tell you what; if your team constantly sucks (which is most of the league) why don’t you focus your anger on the moves your GM is about to make on the draft and free agency instead of hating teams who know what their doing? What a concept huh?
    ——————————————————————————————
    Funny, Steeler fans have spent the last 18 years doing the same exact thing. Hypocrites.

  26. That number can’t be right 21,000?!? That doesn’t seem like a lot. If you have someone in chronic pain taking 3-4 a day then that’s over 100 a month and 1200 for a year. I assume the doctor had at least 100 patients or he didn’t have a very good practice. Maybe they meant 210,000!

  27. That number can’t be right 21,000?!? That doesn’t seem like a lot. If you have someone in chronic pain taking 3-4 a day then that’s over 100 a month and 1200 for a year. I assume the doctor had at least 100 patients or he didn’t have a very good practice. Maybe they meant 210,000!

    I now realize those weren’t scripts written legally. Nevermind…

  28. Uhh yeah, his time DID overlap. He was CAUGHT having hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of HGH and Steroids from that lab that was busted in Florida, Balco I believe,to his Office at the team facilities in 2006, which Goodell swept under the rug. Google it….

  29. It’s a good thing Italian and Brazilian doctors are out of US jurisdiction, otherwise Brady would have been real nervous right now.

  30. dirtyback says:
    March 23, 2018 at 9:56 am
    Technically it’s not cheating when it isn’t against the rules.

    Gee, so many things the NE does are deemed cheating event when legal according to the rule book. Sadly, the NFL dumbs itself down when certain coaches haven’t read or understood the rule book and penalizes the kid who actually did their homework. To make it even better, they penalize NE for doing things every other team has already done in the same season without being penalized.

  31. patsfan4lifesbchamps says:
    March 23, 2018 at 10:47 am
    It’s a good thing Italian and Brazilian doctors are out of US jurisdiction, otherwise Brady would have been real nervous right now.

    Reminds me of that lod saying, “If you can’t beat them, make stuff up”

  32. I think this means all of those over the top arrogant Steeler fans on PFT whose screen names incorporate some kind of reference to the Stealers* “historic NFL Franchise” (blah blah blah blah)now need to amend their handles to include 6 ******.

    As we all knew, dating back to their Steroid infused teams of the 70’s, the entire franchise is false. Nice legacy
    Stealers*

  33. dirtyback says:
    March 23, 2018 at 9:56 am
    Technically it’s not cheating when it isn’t against the rules. Steroids use was not banned until 1987.
    ————————————
    Legal at the time: Using steroids with a valid prescription for a medical condition.

    Never legal: What the Steelers did. Abusing steroids to gain an edge on the field. Abusing steroids or any other prescription drug was never legal in the NFL nor by federal law.

    So now you know the difference. And yes, they most certainly did cheat.

  34. Terry Bradshaw admitted several years ago on a national radio program that he and his whole team were steroid users when they won titles. Yes he said it. And he even said “what I did was wrong”.

    If this was legal as Steeler Apologist loves to tell us, and Bradshaw had nothing to apologize for… why would he even think of saying such a thing?

    #cheaters
    #6TaintedTitles0Legit
    #5ByCheating
    #1ByRefs

  35. Braz says:
    March 23, 2018 at 8:47 am

    For Pat fan talking trash in this topic… you better hope TB12 is what it claims to be and Brady’s buddy Guerrero isn’t giving Tom anything “extra” with the program.

    Spy gate and Deflategate won’t destroy Brady’s legacy and jeopardize his HOF candidacy… but an HGH or PED bust certainly will.

    —————————————
    Well, the NFL is already more than aware of TB12 and Guerrero. And they already said they have no issues with the clinic and Brady being there.

    🙂

  36. Technically it’s not cheating when it isn’t against the rules. Steroids use was not banned until 1987.
    ———————————————————————————-

    This is inaccurate. There were rules in place in the 70’s that banned the use of prescription meds. In 1987, the NFL implemented a standardized program of testing and punishment schedule. MLB did not implement this until 2004, but also had rules covering prescription drugs.

    Steroids were cheating in the 70’s. If you read “False Glory” written a former Steelers linebacker, he discusses other Steelers cheating. After a young John Clayton inadvertently blew the cover on Steelers practicing outside league rules, they were docked a third round pick and it was called “Shoulder-gate”. The Pittsburgh Gazette wrote an article about how the Steelers were becoming known as a team that bent the rules.

  37. ^^^^ Sorry bud but it was not until 1983 that Pete Rozelle and the NFL wrote specific language banning the usage of steroids in the NFL. Before then it was widely and legally used. Steroids weren’t even added to Controlled Substances Act until 1989 in the US which was prompted by the NFL testing in 1987.

  38. mmack66 says:
    March 23, 2018 at 7:38 am
    Steelers ******

    155 32

    I can see its tough on you snowflake, but get over it. The NFL knew about it and decided there wasnt anything to see so you can have your Patriot ******* back for all their cheating.

  39. touchdownelvis says:
    March 23, 2018 at 7:51 am
    Yes, I’m certain that he suddenly found out how to acquire and deal in HGH immediately after he left the Steelers. Seems completely plausible.

    ——————
    Entirely believable. If its part of the exit interview for instance.

  40. infectorman says:
    March 23, 2018 at 10:34 am
    Steelers = CHeaters

    6 Asterisk LAden “Championships”

    Have a nice day, Pittsburgh!

    ——————————-
    Naw, its 6 championships period, and good job Pittsburgh. Its a record worth being proud of and I think its the threat to it is why the Steelers and their fans obcess on the Patriots as much as they do.

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