Nfl Suspends Wycheck After Steroid Test

Posted: November 30, 1994

Frank Wycheck's second professional football season is over, very much against his will.

Wycheck, a fullback for the Washington Redskins out of Archbishop Ryan High and Maryland, was suspended by the NFL yesterday after testing positive for anabolic steroids. He is the third player to be suspended since the league began random testing for steroids in 1990.

Wycheck was suspended for the remaining four games without pay and was placed on the Redskins' reserve / non-football illness list.

Cherryn Krol, Wycheck's fiancee, said Frank received news of the suspension in a 6 p.m. call from his agent, George Maverikas.

"Frank's very upset," Krol said. "He's worried what people are going to think, that he might have been going around popping steroids. He still feels he's innocent; or at the worst, maybe guilty of being naive."

The Associated Press reported that Wycheck had failed a random test, then appealed and lost.

"Wycheck maintained he had inadvertently taken a banned substance in the course of treating an injury," the NFL said.

But under NFL policy, "players may not, under any circumstances, have in their systems prohibited substances," whether or not the drugs produce performance-enhancing effects.

Krol said Wycheck tested positive for steroids in August. She said he had sustained a quadricep injury in mid-July "and had treated it by rubbing on a liquidy substance that soaked into the muscle.

"It must have gotten into his bloodstream and had steroids in it; that's all we can think," she added. "When Frank got the test result back, he blew it off. He figured there was no way he could test positive for steroids. Frank's agent said for a while (during the appeal process), it looked like there might be a way to get around the result, in view of the circumstances, but in the end that the NFL wanted to stick with the rule."

Wycheck was unavailable for comment. It wasn't known if the substance for treating his injury had been supplied by the team.

Wycheck has had several nagging injuries during the year. The most recent was a pulled groin, which kept him inactive for recent games against the Eagles and the San Francisco. He was inactive for last Sunday's game against the New York Giants because he was not needed.

Wycheck is the first player to be suspended for a steroids violation this year. He is the first since New York Giants guard Eric Moore, who was the only player suspended last year. Steelers guard Terry Long was suspended for steroid use in 1991.

This season, Wycheck has seven receptions for 55 yards and one touchdown, and four kickoff returns for 84 yards, including a 43-yard return in the Eagles' 21-17 win Oct. 9 at Veterans Stadium. He had no rushing attempts.

Wycheck was selected in the sixth round of the 1993 draft, but a concussion kept him out of the lineup until week seven. He finished the year with 16 catches for 113 yards.

He entered training camp this year as the starting fullback, but sustained a concussion in the first week of practice and never took hold of the job as expected. Coaches complain he isn't physical enough to take the kind of pounding a blocking fullback must handle.

He has started one game this year, on Oct. 2 against the Cowboys. Brian Mitchell or Cedric Smith have started the rest of the games, with Smith starting the last five.

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