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PRO FOOTBALL : DAILY REPORT : AROUND THE NFL : Terry Long Says He Attempted Suicide

August 01, 1991| Associated Press

Pittsburgh Steeler guard Terry Long, who acknowledged he attempted suicide after flunking the NFL's steroids test, was released Wednesday from the hospital, officials said.

Long told police July 24 in the Pittsburgh suburb of Franklin Park that he tried to commit suicide because he felt his career was over after the positive test.

His statement to police said he tried to kill himself by swallowing "two or three sleeping pills," contradicting earlier reports he had taken rat poison. Long checked into the psychiatric ward at Allegheny General Hospital the same day for a mental health evaluation.

A hospital spokeswoman said the football player left the hospital, but she declined to describe his condition, citing rules of patient privacy.

George Saunders, a Chicago lawyer, said Long's friends have asked him to pursue an appeal of the positive steroids test. Saunders has successfully represented other NFL players under the league's substance-abuse policy. Long could not be reached for comment.

"I have not talked to Terry, but I talked to friends of his," Saunders said, adding that the friends said Long "wants me to protect his rights."

Philadelphia Eagle lineman Bruce Collie says he used steroids as a member of the Super Bowl champion San Francisco 49ers and drank alcohol between training camp practices.

The 6-foot-6, 275-pound Collie told the Philadelphia Daily News a religious awakening helped him kick his drug and alcohol habits about two years ago.

Collie, a fifth-round draft pick from Texas Arlington, played on the 49ers' Super Bowl-winning teams in 1989 and 1990. He joined the Eagles last season after being waived by the 49ers.

Collie said he kept using steroids after the NFL began testing in 1987. By 1989, when a positive test meant suspension, he said he had begun phasing out his use.

The New York Giants signed No. 1 draft pick Jarrod Bunch to a three-year contract reportedly worth about $2.1 million, including a $900,000 signing bonus.

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