Report: As Many as 10% of Players in NFL Are Addicted to Painkillers

From Associated Press

The use of painkillers is so widespread in the NFL that a few players trade game tickets for black-market pills, The New York Times reported.

The newspaper reported that dozens of players, coaches and league executives surveyed for the story estimate that as many as 10% of the NFL’s 1,500 players have “serious addiction problems with painkillers.”

Many of those surveyed were quoted anonymously and noted that the addictions most often come from pills obtained from those outside the team and its medical staff.



Top-seeded Michael Chang needed one point to defeat Patrick Rafter of Australia when rain suspended play during the championship match of the Salem Open at Hong Kong.

Chang led, 6-3, 5-3, and held two match points against Rafter when the match was postponed until today.

Lindsay Davenport beat Mary Pierce, 6-2, 6-3, to win the Bausch & Lomb Championships at Amelia Island, Fla.

Alex Corretja defeated fellow Spaniard Francisco Clavet, 6-3, 7-5, to win the Estoril Open--the European Tour’s first clay event--at Oeiras, Portugal.

Mikael Tillstrom of Sweden defeated Alex Radulescu of Germany, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5, to win the Gold Flake Open at Madras, India.

Auto Racing

Jacques Villeneuve, weakened by a stomach ailment and doubting his stamina, won the Argentine Grand Prix at Buenos Aires for his second consecutive victory. Villeneuve began on the pole and beat Eddie Irvine by less than a second.


Jeff Gordon bumped past Rusty Wallace 600 feet from the finish line to win the Food City 500 NASCAR race at Tennessee’s Bristol Motor Speedway.

Defending Top Fuel champion Kenny Bernstein won for the first time this year, and Randy Anderson prevailed for the first time as a pro in the funny car competition at the NHRA’s Fram Nationals in Commerce, Ga.

Distance Running

Antonio Pinto out-sprinted Stefano Baldini to win by two seconds and Joyce Chepchumba caught defending champion Liz McColgan at the finish line as the London Marathon produced two thrilling finishes and one fatality.

An unidentified man believed to be in his 40s became the fifth fatality in the race’s 17-year history.

Elisvaldo Carvalho of Brazil ran 2:19:39 to win the Rio Marathon for the second consecutive time at Rio de Janeiro. . . . Paul Koech continued Kenya’s domination of the Carlsbad (Calif.) 5000 by winning in 13:15--three seconds off the world mark.


Texas Tech did not notify the NCAA after learning that several athletes made unauthorized long-distance telephone calls last year, the Houston Chronicle reported.


Failing to investigate and report potential rules infractions to the NCAA can be deemed a major violation. The school’s football and men’s basketball teams are under investigation.

University of Minnesota basketball player Courtney James has been charged with domestic assault after allegedly hitting his girlfriend, throwing her to the floor and covering her face.

UCLA’s Steve McCain, the all-around men’s winner, took three more titles in the individual finals in the USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championships at Seattle.

Carlos Hermosillo scored three goals and Mexico routed Jamaica, 6-0, at Mexico City to take a commanding lead in its regional qualifying group for soccer’s 1998 World Cup.

Kent Steffes and Jose Loiola posted a 15-11 victory over Scott Ayakatubby and Brian Lewis in the Miller Lite Open beach volleyball event at Clearwater, Fla.

Japan’s Shubei Nishida, 87, who won Olympic silver medals in the pole vault at the 1932 Los Angeles Games and the 1936 Berlin Games, died in Tokyo. . . . John Landry, founder of horse racing’s Marlboro Cup, died in New York at 73.