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Saints, Ellison cases sparked investigation of Chargers doctor

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by CoronaDoug, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    Saints, Ellison cases sparked investigation of Chargers doctor

    Posted by Mike Florio on July 14, 2010 7:33 PM ET
    The Chargers have insisted that the recent search by the DEA of the offices of team doctor David Chao had nothing to do with the arrest of former safety Kevin Ellison for possession of 100 Vicodin pills.

    The Chargers, as it turns out, were incorrect.

    Brent Schrotenboer of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that an affidavit submitted in connection with the request for a search warrant explained that the process began after Ellison's arrest, and in light of media reports regarding irregularities with prescription medication in New Orleans. Those incidents prompted the DEA to review available records, from which the agency determined that Dr. Chao had issued prescriptions to himself.

    How many did he write to himself? How about 108.

    Said DEA spokesperson Amy Roderick: "ased on what we have reviewed, we have no reason to believe that he [Chao] was using the medication himself."

    It could be that Chao was writing the prescriptions to himself for use as needed when treating Chargers players. Currently, there's no evidence to support that conclusion.

    Other than, you know, the fact that the Chargers' team doctor made out 108 prescriptions to himself.


    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.co...ses-sparked-investigation-of-chargers-doctor/
     
  2. !~BOLT~!

    !~BOLT~! Well-Known Member

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    Down with the DEA who fuqin needs em.
     
  3. LV Bolt Fan

    LV Bolt Fan Well-Known Member

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    Besides,The United States?
    I can't think of anyone,else.
     
  4. !~BOLT~!

    !~BOLT~! Well-Known Member

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    Oh that's right, I love seeing billions upon billions go into the war on drugs, lets keep that going. I know were losing school funding but as long as we can keep those dea chopters flying overhead searching for marijuana I am a safe citizen.

    Yeah, we need them. Just like we need the federal reserve.
     
  5. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    THE CHARGERS DID NOT LEARN THEIR LESSON THEN OR NOW IT APPEARS...READ ON .....

    http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/sports/1997/02/03/1997-02-03_awarded_with_a_future__rulin.html

    AWARDED WITH A FUTURE RULING FOR SWEENEY PUTS BLAME ON NFL
    By LUKE CYPHERS

    Monday, February 3th 1997, 2:01AM

    SAN DIEGO Walt Sweeney is asked to recall the low point in his drug-fogged life, and before he can say anything, his wife, Nanci, interjects, "Low point? Which one?"

    It might have been his last day in professional football in 1976. The 6-4, 255-pound, all-pro guard, paranoid about his imminent release from the Washington Redskins, emptied six shots from a revolver into his bunk at training camp.

    Or it could have been the suicide attempt a few years after his 14-season career ended. He was found crawling in a snowbank after downing a quart of Scotch and 30 Seconals sleeping pills that had been constant companions since his rookie year with the San Diego Chargers in 1963.

    His lawyers think the worst came later, in the early 1990s, when Sweeney, during his shift as a cab driver, combed San Diego's worst neighborhoods with a pistol and a plan. "It was the ultimate junkie's dream, I guess," Sweeney says, in his gravelly, somewhat nasal voice. "I was gonna come across a guy who'd just done a dope deal, with a lotta money, and I was gonna shoot him and get the money and the drugs."

    Drugs drove Sweeney, now 55, to the edge of oblivion, like so many other 1960s casualties. But Sweeney's woeful tale is different. Pro football, he says, put him on the path to addiction, joblessness and near-helplessness. Two weeks ago, a federal judge agreed.

    In a case that has rocked pro football and once again dredged up one of the most sordid chapters in the sport's history, Sweeney was awarded $1.8 million in benefits and attorney's fees from the NFL's pension fund. Southern California federal district court judge Rudi Brewster ruled that drugs given to Sweeney by Chargers employees in the '60s led to a lifelong habit that has left him "unemployable" and "totally and permanently disabled."

    Brewster's ruling stated that the NFL's "practice of furnishing drugs to players to maximize their performance and resistance to pain caught a player who may have been unusually susceptible to chemical dependency," and that "when (the league) creates a tragedy such as that shown by substantial evidence in this case, the Retirement Board may not turn its back on the player who is injured by the practice."

    The response of the league and the NFL Players Association was immediate and vehement. The Retirement Board plans to appeal, and league and union officials are telling anyone who will listen that Sweeney deserved the partial pension of roughly $1,800 a month that he had been receiving, but no more. Certainly not the $16,670 a month he will receive beginning in March.

    "Substance abuse unrelated to football is being characterized the same as a player being paralyzed during a game," said Doug Allen, assistant deputy director for the NFLPA. "This ruling is insulting to a player like Darryl Stingley."

    Thus has the debate been framed for talk radio and tabloid TV. Sweeney, who admittedly contributed to his own demise by continuing his "poly-drug habit" after his playing days, is set off against Stingley, who in 1978 was rendered a quadriplegic after being rammed head-on by Oakland Raiders safety Jack Tatum in an exhibition game.

    But the Sweeney story goes deeper than that. His case has resurrected the tawdry 1973 Chargers drug scandal, when it was learned that coaches, trainers and physicians dispensed steroids and speed like M&M's.

    The revelations led to bans on the use of stimulants and steroids, new rules for team doctors and the NFL's current drug-testing policy.

    But in Sweeney's eyes, the scandal didn't end there. He couldn't break the pattern of his team-aided drug use, and wandered through the aftermath of his playing days an addled shell of a man, a casualty of the NFL's Sunday warfare.

    He feels betrayed by the Players Association, which fought against his receiving additional benefits. "The NFLPA is all for the modern-day player," he said. "They forgot about the old guys who paved the way for free agency and the way it is today."

    The story laid out in his lawsuit, unchallenged by the Retirement Board, is the stuff of an Oliver Stone movie. And in fact, "Oliver Stone came out last Friday and talked with us," Sweeney said. "He's interested in doing a movie about the drug problems in the NFL."

    Sweeney grew up in Cohasset, Mass., part of a family with a history of alcoholism. A court document states: "There was a history of alcoholism in his father's family and all his brothers save one were or are alcoholics."

    Sweeney's father was killed by a drunk driver when Sweeney was 2 years old and "every coach I ever had I looked up to as a father figure. I would do anything for these guys."

    That determination, and his size and agility, earned him stardom in high school and a scholarship to Syracuse, where he became an All-American playing with stars such as Ernie Davis and John Mackey. He was the Chargers' top pick in the 1963 draft, beginning a career as one of the best offensive linemen of his era. He also began a career as a drug user.

    During his first training camp, the Chargers strength coach, Alvin Roy, demanded players take "special vitamins," or face a fine. The pills turned out to be Dianabol, a steroid.

    Also readily available were amphetamines, sitting in lockers and in training kits. Wanting to fit in, Sweeney took 20 of the little orange capsules before his first preseason game, made a bunch of tackles on kickoff teams, and got sick. But he never again played a game without the benefit of speed.

    "They masked pain, gave you a little extra juice in the fourth quarter, and made you feel good," Sweeney said. "I broke a shoulder during a game and didn't know it until 20 years later."


    But coming down after games grew difficult. Of course, the trainers had an answer: Seconal, or "reds," a sleeping pill. Gradually, it took more amphetamines to get up before a game, and more Seconals to relax.

    By the early 1970s, the Chargers team psychiatrist, Arnold Mandell, told Sweeney to smoke marijuana to take the edge off the speed leading the then-30-year-old into the world of illegal drugs for the first time. :nana_rasta:

    When the Chargers scandal broke in 1973, Sweeney was fined by the NFL for using drugs, and was traded to Washington. There was a drug culture there, too. Sweeney says Redskins coach George Allen once told the team, "If it takes amphetamines to win, I will bring it in by the truckload." :icon_party:

    The beginning of the end came in 1975, when Sweeney blew out his knee. Not surprisingly, drugs played a part.

    "Joe Theismann threw an interception, and I was so hopped up on speed, I took off running after the guy with the ball. I got clipped and got hurt," Sweeney said. "I needed surgery that night, but because of all the drugs in my system, they couldn't operate for three days."

    He missed the rest of the season, tried to rehab in San Diego, and came back to training camp the following year. But the knee wasn't right. He could barely run, and Allen placed him on injured reserve status, "which was very fuzzy at the time in my mind anyway. A lotta things were fuzzy about then. They didn't tell me they were gonna pay me for the season, and I was worried about money. One night, I was just in a state of confusion. I took this gun I had in the car up to my room and put the six rounds into my bed."

    The Redskins turned him loose the next day. His career over, Sweeney was on his own, with nowhere to go. "I couldn't get a decent job because I couldn't hold a thought," he said. His first marriage ended.

    For three years, he hung around a San Diego beach, living off a worker's compensation award. "I'd get up and fire up a joint around 6 in the morning, watch cartoons and wonder about what I'd do the rest of the day." :popcorn:

    He moved to Boston in 1980, but things soon fell apart. He taught school, and was let go. He worked a fishing boat, and was fired. He tried to kill himself.

    He moved again, opening a bar in San Diego. It failed. A second marriage, to Nanci, nearly failed, too. Her mother was dying of cancer, "and when we'd go to visit her, it was a race to the medicine cabinet" for her mother's painkiller prescriptions.

    He tried rehab, but left after 23 days when the insurance ran out. Still, his exit was greeted as a success. A news story about his release generated work as an anti-drug speaker. The fact that he was still using didn't deter him.

    His only "successful" period was 1984-90, when he held two jobs given to him by Chargers fans. He was fired from both.

    The '90s were even worse. His debt reached six figures. His career as a cabbie never netted that hoped-for drug dealer.

    Desperate, he tried filing for an NFL disability benefit for his knee. But when he went into lawyer Mike Thorsnes' office and pulled a handful of Vicodins from his pocket, Thorsnes said, "I told Walt he had bigger problems than just hi s knee."

    Examined by physicians and psychiatrists, Sweeney was found to suffer from "impairments in his cognition, memory and spatial orientation" and was "unable to sustain employment."

    Based on those evaluations, he filed for a total and permanent disability benefit stemming from his football-related drug abuse. The Retirement Board comprised of three owners and three ex-players maintained Sweeney's drug abuse wasn't covered under the highest benefit classification. The board denied Sweeney a chance for new disability benefits worked out in the 1993 collective bargaining.

    The board said Sweeney's condition deserved a partial benefit. The case went to federal court, and Sweeney's attorneys, including Rhonda Thompson, the wife of Denver Broncos lineman Broderick Thompson, mounted a convincing case that Sweeney's current addictions stemmed from the Chargers' introduction of drugs into his system, and that his disability was "total."

    During a final hearing, NFL attorneys argued that Sweeney's addiction wasn't football-related. "There's no blow," the NFL's William Hanrahan told the court. "There's no trauma."

    Brewster, a Republican appointee known as a conservative, countered: "There is a blow. . . . It's still an intrusion into his body by the narcotics. And they put that into him."

    Curiously, the NFL lawyers provided very little evidence of their own before the court, and challenged none of Sweeney's. The league probably could have isolated Sweeney by showing dozens of ex-Chargers who didn't end up unemployable.

    And not every Charger took amphetamines. Ron Mix, a friend and former teammate of Sweeney's, said he never took speed. "I thought it was cheating," he said.

    But the decision went Sweeney's way, perhaps indicating that his tough times are changing.

    After an extensive rehab program, he's been clean and sober for nine months, and he hopes the award can help pay his considerable debts.

    Since the decision, Sweeney says he's heard from dozens of other ex-players who've had problems similar to his. So the fallout from the NFL's bad old days may continue.

    "In my day there wasn't drug testing," Sweeney says. "Back then, they tested the drugs on us."
     
  6. LV Bolt Fan

    LV Bolt Fan Well-Known Member

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    Kinda like the attack of Iraq, that had NOTHING to do with the 911 attacks?
    I'd rather keep Cocaine away from my kids......Thank You very much!
     
  7. Ray Dahayder

    Ray Dahayder BoltTalker

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    America LOVES it's "wars". "War on Drugs". "War on Terror". What about a "War on War"? The drug war is lost and it's time to stop spending billions on trying to prevent people from doing what is basically guaranteed to them in the constitution. The right to the pursuit of happiness.

    http://www.drugpolicy.org/library/factsheets/economiccons/fact_economic.cfm

    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/joe_conason/2008/10/20/drug_war

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/13/us-war-on-drugs-has-met-n_n_575351.html

    http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/Economics
     
  8. Ray Dahayder

    Ray Dahayder BoltTalker

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    Good idea. Keep cocaine away from your kids. But YOU keep it away... don't rely on the government to spend $50 Billion a year to do that job for you. And don't force other people who are not your kids, not related to you, and fully grown and capable of making their own decisions to stop using them if they want to.

    Funny how conservatives and Republicans all cry for "less government", but then they want more and more laws telling us what we can't do.

    If you don't want your kids doing drugs, then YOU DO SOMETHING about it. And leave everyone else the hell alone.
     
  9. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    LOL Dr. Chao works w/ my wife. I know him.
     
  10. Ray Dahayder

    Ray Dahayder BoltTalker

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    Just another tidbit.... the United States has the highest ratio of it's citizens incarcerated than any other country in the world.


    And whatever we do, don't stop spending billions on this war. Here is a great site showing how much a trillion dollars really is and what we could do with the money that we've spent on this war. It's eye-opening and shocking.

    http://www.fpif.org/articles/a_way_forward_reexamining_the_pentagons_spending_habits
     
  11. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Remember good ol' Dr. Chao?


    Chargers doctor faces scrutiny from state board
    By Staff, City News Service
    Saturday, December 19, 2009


    A San Diego Chargers doctor is under fire from the state medical board for allegedly abusing alcohol and unprofessional conduct, it was reported today.

    Dr. David Chao, a 45-year-old orthopedic surgeon, was accused of two incidents in 2006 and 1995, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported. Chao, who may be subject to a disciplinary hearing, admitted to misdemeanor drunken driving in 2007 and was given five years of probation and fined $1,800.

    In 1995, he pleaded guilty to an alcohol-related charge of reckless driving, and offense that was expunged, his attorney, Jim Godes, told the newspaper. No one with the Chargers was willing to talk with the Union-Tribune about the medical board complaint.

    A spokeswoman for the medical board said the board does not discuss pending cases.

    Chao has been dogged in recent years by legal problems and malpractice allegations unrelated to the complaint. Earlier this year, he settled out of court with a man, Tom Fagan, who sued him and other care providers after he underwent knee replacement surgery by Chao in 2007, the Union-Tribune reported.

    Fagan claimed carelessness of the defendants resulted in the loss of part of his right leg. Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla agreed to a $1.39 million settlement with Fagan, according to court records, and Chao was released from the case with no admission of liability.

    In 2002, Chao was issued a $1,000 citation by the medical board for failing to maintain adequate and accurate medical records. The charge stemmed from allegations Chao had unlawfully written narcotics prescriptions for former Chargers doctor Gary Losse, whose alleged addiction to such narcotics led to his being dropped by the Chargers in 1998, the Union-Tribune reported.

    Chao has been sued 20 times since 1998 for medical malpractice, negligence, personal injury or fraud. At least five of those suits have been settled with undisclosed payouts to plaintiffs. Such settlements are not considered admissions of liability.

    In 2002, Abby Joyce Rueckert was awarded a $460,000 verdict by a jury after she sued Chao for severing an artery during surgery. Chao denied the accusations in court records.
    Click here to find out more!

    Read more: http://www.sdnn.com/sandiego/2009-1...faces-scrutiny-from-state-board#ixzz0tkNYu11h


    I suppose "character" is only an issue for Charger players, right? Maybe VJ looks up to this guy as a role model - or a drinking partner. :icon_rofl:

    The hypocrisy stinks to high heaven.
     
  12. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    Was this guy around when Ryan Leaf was here? :icon_shrug:
     
  13. !~BOLT~!

    !~BOLT~! Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, the dea keeps cocaine away from your kids alright. YOU keep your kids away from cocaine whether it's legal or not. If heroin were legalized tomorrow I bet you'd be the first guy at the 711 picking up a pack of china white.

    If your kids want cocaine they will get it, it's available, readily available. The DEA does not preven that transaction from happening. If cocaine meth heroin etc were the main source of the DEA's focus I wouldn't have much an issue with it, however 800,000 Americans are arrested on simple marijuana possesion alone every year. They aren't gang busting cocaine houses, or meth labs, they know if they enter a meth lab it's likely there's a tweeker behind the door with his finger on the trigger. Stoners on the other hand, very easy to bully. The crack epidemic was probably a bunch of African Americans in ghetto USA flying their planes down to columbia and distributing it throughout our inner cities right?

    Prohibition does nothing to stop use of drugs in this country, it is a public health issue, not a penal issue. You can keep the blinders on all you want, be content in how safe the DEA makes this country for your children, but as we speak millions are getting high because they want to, and it's readily available. It's a money pit that never ends, and a war that can not be won, nor has it ever shown signs of doing so. What it has done is take money away from education, and health related issues. I hope your children never get hooked on drugs, but if they do in thier lifetime they can expect to see a jail cell, not health administration.
     
  14. !~BOLT~!

    !~BOLT~! Well-Known Member

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    I just don't understand how you can get it entirely, and fully understand what's going on in it's complete capacity, yet so many thousands can't see the forest for the tree's. Talk about brainwashing.

    It's any American's right and responsibility to enact the bill of rights which basically doesn't even exist anymore. How many of our amendments are violated on a daily basis due to prohibition alone? 6? 7? There should be zero! It's we the people, not them the government agencies.
     

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