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Newswire

June 11, 1987

Lefty Driesell, former University of Maryland basketball coach, said that his remarks that cocaine can enhance the performance of athletes have been misinterpreted.

Driesell, who resigned last fall after the cocaine-induced death of Len Bias, said he never intended in comments at a Rhode Island conference on drug abuse in athletics to say that cocaine is good or helpful in the long run for an athlete.

Driesell said he based his comments on research he did 30 years ago for his master's degree.

"Cocaine, according to the paper that I did (in 1957), will speed up your heart rate and make your reflexes better and make you perform a little bit better for a certain amount of time as an athlete in some cases," he said. "But I put in my paper that it was highly toxic and highly habit-forming and should no way be used in athletics and that's exactly what I said (at the Rhode Island conference)."

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