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Charges against doc lead 'Skins to wonder if teammate using drugs

ASHBURN, Va. -- With the Washington Redskins caught up in a serious case involving banned substances and a Canadian doctor facing criminal charges, Phillip Daniels tried to break the tension with a bit of humor.

"I've been telling everybody it's me," the veteran defensive end said. "Just joking around. But guys talk about it in the locker room, and they wonder who it is."

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Illegal drugs and the possibility of a bad apple on the roster were prime topics as the Redskins gathered Wednesday for an offseason practice. Not everybody knew the details about the charges levied Tuesday against Dr. Anthony Galea of Toronto, but most were aware of one key fact: According to an affidavit, Galea's assistant said a professional football player from Washington called to request a session with the doctor at a Washington-area hotel last September.

"It's just very unfortunate," defensive end Andre Carter said. "The NFL in general, they're trying to crack down on illegal substances. If there was a trace here, it might be a small distraction. As a team, we'd talk about it and discuss things. We've just got to move on. But we just hope everybody's smart about what they're taking."

Galea is accused of smuggling, unlawful distribution of human growth hormone and unlawfully treating professional athletes. On Wednesday, a Canadian court document revealed that Galea made multiple trips to New York, Boston, Cleveland and other U.S. cities to meet with professional athletes.

Redskins coach Mike Shanahan was less eager to discuss the matter. He said he didn't address the case with the team. Asked if he knew the identity of the Redskins player who supposedly was involved, the coach said: "I don't know anything about it."

"A doctor comes to town and has supposedly seen a player," Shanahan said. "The NFL's on top of all those things, and if there's any validity to it, they will contact me and contact our organization, which they have not done."

While no one dared speculate publicly on who the player might be -- given all the roster changes since September, it could be someone no longer with the team -- the case did give players a chance to revisit the ongoing problem of banned substances in the NFL.

Asked about an estimate that perhaps 20 percent of players are taking some sort of banned substance, Daniels said: "It's probably more than that, really."

"I'm pretty sure the temptation is there for all these guys to try something to get back faster and do the things they need to do," Daniels said. "Your job's on the line, but guys just got to be smart.

"When I was in high school, I did a report on steroids, and I know what they can do to your body. ... I remember going to one of the gyms in my hometown when a guy first approached me talking about steroids. I said, 'Dude, naw, I don't want to do that because I know the history of it. I know what it does to the body.'

"I know guys right now with hip problems because they used that stuff. I know a lot of guys my hometown, their bodies are just breaking down, don't even look the same no more."

Cornerback Carlos Rogers said he wasn't surprised by the news. Neither was Carter.

"Name a year where there hasn't been a guy who's been caught using steroids," Carter said. "There's always going to be somebody."

Daniels said he hopes he doesn't find out who the culprit is.

"I hope the details don't come out," Daniels said. "I don't want to know. I don't want to have to look at my partner and say 'You were doing that illegally all this time?' I hope they just tear the papers up and just go to him privately and do it that way."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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