4 Coaches at S. Carolina Indicted in Steroid Case
Four former South Carolina assistant football coaches were indicted today following an investigation into the alleged illegal use and distribution of “thousands of dollars” worth of anabolic steroids at the university.
Thomas E. Gadd, James W. Washburn and Thomas Kurucz were charged with conspiring to “conduct a program of illegal steroid use by members of the athletic community and particularly by the university’s football team.”
The grand jury also charged the three with importing steroids into South Carolina and distributing them without prescription.
In addition, the indictments charge Kurucz with lying to the grand jury concerning his knowledge that assistant football coaches had either provided players with steroids, had made arrangements for players to obtain steroids contrary to the law or had provided money for the purchase of steroids.
A second indictment charges former Gamecock strength and conditioning Coach Keith Kephart with conspiring with other members of the university’s athletic community to import and distribute steroids without prescription.
The charges are all misdemeanors, except the charge that Kurucz lied to the grand jury, which is a felony.
John L. Carter of Bethesda, Md., was charged with felony counts of intending to defraud and mislead the Federal Drug Administration in connection with the importation and distribution of steroids to four former South Carolina players, including Tommy Chaikin.
The other players were identified as David Poinsett, Heyward Myers and George Hyder, according to the indictment.
Highlighting the Problem
The agency initiated the investigation after an Oct. 24 Sports Illustrated article alleged that about half of the 1986 football team used steroids. The article was co-written by Chaikin, who played at South Carolina from 1983 to 1987.
The investigation was part of a nationwide effort by the U.S. Department of Justice to crack down on an estimated $100-million annual black market for anabolic steroids.
“Today’s indictments highlight the growing problem of the illegal use of anabolic steroids and the abuse of them by college athletes,” U.S. Atty. Gen. Dick Thornburgh said in a prepared statement.
U.S. Atty. Vinton Lide said “thousands of dollars” worth of steroids were involved in the case.
The investigation into steroid use at the University of South Carolina has been completed, but the probe into illegal steroid use elsewhere in the state continues, Lide said. He declined to say which, if any, other schools are being investigated.
Lide said the probe is focusing on coaches and steroid distributors.