DETROIT — Several Michigan State University football players took steroids before the 1987 Rose Bowl, and many still use the muscle-enhancing drug, a newspaper reported today.
The Detroit News said it conducted a two-month study, interviewing more than 100 players, parents, police officers and physicians in six states.
Some players said up to seven Spartans may have fooled National Collegiate Athletic Assn. testers on the eve of the Rose Bowl game by using someone else's urine, carried in plastic bags taped inside their armpits and attached to tubes that came out between their legs, the newspaper said.
The NCAA has banned steroids, hormones that can increase body and muscle mass artificially.
Dr. David O. Hough, Michigan State director of sports medicine, said at a March 12 news conference that few players used the drug, "countable on one hand--or less."
Football Coach George Perles was asked by the newspaper if he knew of more widespread use of steroids. "No. No," Perles said. "I'm honest, I answer them all honestly. N-O, no, underlined, period. Truth."
The use apparently continued after the Rose Bowl, which Michigan State won 20-17 over USC. Last season, two Spartans reserves tested positive for steroids and sat out the Aloha Bowl on Christmas Day in Honolulu, other players said. University officials refused to confirm or deny the report.
Offensive tackle Tony Mandarich's name surfaced in most interviews, with some calling him the "doctor" or the "mentor," the newspaper said. It said Mandarich supplied steroids and helped some players who were afraid of needles.
"Tony injected me with testosterone about seven or eight times," said defensive tackle Jeff Case, a freshman walk-on during the 1987 season, who left the team but remains at the university.
The News failed to reach Mandarich, now with the Green Bay Packers of the NFL. His agent, Vern Sharbaugh of Cleveland, said Mandarich did not want to be interviewed. Mandarich has denied using steroids in the past.
Dave Berst, head of enforcement for the NCAA, said if a school knew of any urine-test cheating and failed to report it to the NCAA, the agency probably would investigate.