http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/chargers/20061025-9999-1s25nandro.html Supplements often blamed in positive steroid tests Analysis by Mark Zeigler UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER October 25, 2006 Add to the list of certainties in life, along with death, taxes and the Clippers not winning the NBA championship: An athlete who tests positive for nandrolone will blame a tainted nutritional supplement. Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman faces a four-game suspension after failing an NFL urine test for the chemical fingerprint of the anabolic steroid nandrolone, a source confirmed to The San Diego Union-Tribune yesterday. And while Merriman has not officially fingered supplements yet, the attorney for the 6-foot-4, 272-pound linebacker with a reported body fat of 5 percent has tossed the supplement card on the table. “I know people get tired of hearing it, but it is a fact,” said David Cornwell, who is handling Merriman's appeal to the NFL (a hearing is scheduled for Nov. 7). “Men like Shawne get hooked up and penalized for taking something that they didn't know was present in the supplement.” It is an increasingly common defense these days, if for no other reason than it is plausible and seems to gain sympathetic traction from a public not fully literate in the intricacies of doping. Less sold, though, is the anti-doping establishment that must sort through the various excuses and explanations for positive tests.