Bias Used Drugs, Alcohol, Teammate Reportedly Said
Terry Long, the University of Maryland teammate who tried to revive basketball star Len Bias after he collapsed in a dormitory room early Thursday morning, told emergency technicians that Bias had used “drugs and alcohol” before his death, a source who has talked to team members said Saturday.
That information was relayed to Dr. Amjad Rasul, the cardiologist who was called in from his Alexandria, Va., home to try to save the 22-year-old All-American who was brought unconscious to Leland Memorial Hospital in Riverdale, Md., at 6:50 a.m.
“I was told one friend (of Bias) did mention there was drug use,” Rasul said. “There was some partying, drinking, perhaps drug use.”
According to a source, Long, a roommate who others have said was with Bias when he collapsed, told a nurse or a paramedic that “Bias had been using some drugs.” Evidence of cocaine was found in Bias’ urine sample taken at the hospital after he was pronounced dead of cardiac arrest at 8:50 a.m, according to police sources.
Long said Saturday his attorney had advised him not to comment.
On Friday, university police seized a clear, plastic bag containing a white, powdery substance under the glove compartment in Bias’ leased sports car, which was parked behind the Washington Hall dormitory where the players were living while attending summer school.
A source familiar with the investigation said Saturday that tests conducted by the Maryland State Police have determined that the substance is cocaine.
Investigators are also trying to determine whether Bias and a friend drove early Thursday to an area in the District of Columbia where police say drugs are often sold.
Police said Saturday that they will question Long and another basketball player and dorm mate, David Gregg, who sources said was also in the suite when Bias collapsed. Phil Nevin, another teammate who shared the suite, will be interviewed later, police said.
Prince George’s County, Md., Police investigators have said they would like to interview Brian Tribble, described as a longtime friend of Bias and a former junior varsity player at Maryland, who dorm mates have said was with Bias in the dormitory room when they awoke and saw Bias unconscious in Long’s room of the suite.
Jeff Baxter and Keith Gatlin, two other dorm mates who are basketball players, were interviewed by police and said they were asleep in their bedrooms when they awoke to find paramedics trying to revive Bias.
“The only people who know what happened (to Bias) are Terry Long and David Gregg,” Gatlin said.
Long returned to campus late Saturday afternoon under university police escort. Asked if he had been interrogated, he replied: “No. They just wanted to make sure I got back to the dorm safely.”
Police are conducting a criminal investigation and have said the circumstances surrounding Bias’ death are “suspicious.”
The state medical examiner in Baltimore, whose office is conducting the autopsy, has not released any test results.