THE SIDELINES : 49ers Eye Suit on Steroid Tests

<i> From Times Wire Services</i>

Some San Francisco 49ers, concerned about legal issues but worried about the team’s image, have discussed suing the NFL over random testing for steroids, according to a report published today.

Players discussed the possibility of a suit after practice Thursday, meeting in the middle of a practice field after sending coaches and others away, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

“The issue is not just an invasion of privacy,” running back Spencer Tillman said. “But there’s a question of whether this might lead to giving (the NFL) license to do other things, impose other restrictions, that are not even related to drugs.”

None of the 49ers have tested positive for steroids, but running back Tom Rathman said several players raised the point that the team’s image could be hurt if the players objected to drug tests. For that reason, it was uncertain what action the 49ers might take, he said.