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CincyPost: Message in a bottle


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The Cincinnati Post - Message in a bottle

Message in a bottle

Suspension points up risks of supplements

By Kevin Goheen
Cincinnati Post staff reporter
November 10, 2006

A Bengals player walked into the office of head trainer Paul Sparling a few weeks ago and handed Sparling a bottle. The player wanted the contents inside the bottle tested.

It's a good thing he did because unbeknownst to the player the supplement he was thinking about taking included an ingredient, bitter orange peel, that wasn't on the product's label. If the player had taken the supplement without having it tested first, somewhere down the line he could have suffered the same fate as San Diego linebacker Shawne Merriman.


Congress passed the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act in 1994. That law deregulated the supplement industry, meaning there would be no oversight from the Food and Drug Administration before the product hit the store shelves. And as Simmons pointed out, what is on the label doesn't necessarily have to equal what's actually inside the package.

"We strongly discourage the use of supplements for a number of reasons, one of which is they are not regulated by the FDA," said Sparling. "There is no way to assure the purity of it, there is no way to assure the contents of what is in the bottle regardless of what is on the label. The other reason is that supplements can and do have adverse reactions to prescription medications."

The NFL and NFL Players Association instituted a dietary supplement label certification program two years ago. The program came on the heels of a study conducted by the International Olympic Committee that found 14.8 percent of 634 non-hormonal nutritional supplements from 215 different providers in 13 countries to have substances that weren't listed on the label and would have resulted in a positive doping test for any athlete that took the product.

The numbers were higher in the United States, where 45 of 240 products (18.8 percent) tested returned a positive result. In addition to the positive tests throughout the study, the IOC also found 66 other samples that returned borderline results for various unlabeled substances.

Even if an ingredient as harmless sounding as bitter orange peel is on the product label, athletes need to be warned. Bitter orange peel contains the stimulant synephrine, a banned substance in the NFL.
Click on link for complete article.


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Bengals vs. Chargers

• Bengals need return of dominant Palmer

TIME: 1 p.m. Sunday

SITE: Paul Brown Stadium (65,500)

RECORDS: Bengals (4-4), Chargers (6-2)

SERIES: Chargers lead, 17-10; Bengals lead postseason, 1-0.

COACHES: Bengals, Marvin Lewis (4th season, 31-25 regular season, 0-1 postseason); Chargers, Marty Schottenheimer (19th season overall, 192-126-1 regular season, 5-12 postseason).

TV: WKRC-TV (Channel 12)

RADIO: WLW-AM (700), WSAI-AM (1360), WOFX-FM (92.5)

CROWD: Sold out.

THE LAST TIME: Bengals 34, Chargers 27; Sunday, Nov. 23, 2003, at Qualcomm Stadium. Bengals WR Chad Johnson scored three touchdowns in the first half while QB Jon Kitna added a fourth touchdown pass as the Bengals built a 28-13 halftime lead and held on for their first win on the West Coast in 13 years. Kitna had one of his best games of the season, completing 24 of 38 passes for 243 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. The Bengals held possession of the ball for more than 38 minutes, helped by a rushing attack that produced 210 yards. RB Corey Dillon gained 108 yards on just 18 carries, while Rudi Johnson added 55 yards on 17 carries. That balance helped offset San Diego RB LaDainian Tomlinson's 144 yards of total offense and WR David Boston's 139 yards receiving and two touchdowns on nine catches. Tomlinson scored on a 6-yard touchdown run with 3:04 left to play but the Bengals were able to produce two first downs and ran out the clock without giving the Chargers another shot at a tying score. Chad Johnson finished with 10 receptions for 107 yards in Cincinnati's third straight win. The Bengals would go on to win their next game at Pittsburgh for a four-game winning streak, the first time they had accomplished that in a single season since 1989.

Statistical leaders

Rushing: Bengals, Rudi Johnson (160 carries, 629 yards, 3.9 average, 6 TD); Chargers, LaDainian Tomlinson (168 carries, 828 yards, 4.9 average, 12 TD).

Passing: Bengals, Carson Palmer (158-of-258 passes, 1879 yards, 12 TD, 6 INT, 89.3 rating); Chargers, Phillip Rivers (158-of-238 passes, 1747 yards, 10 TD, 3 INT, 96.7 rating).

Receiving: Bengals, Chad Johnson (40 receptions, 483 yards, 12.1 average, 2 TD); Chargers, LaDainian Tomlinson (38 receptions, 323 yards, 8.5 average, 2 TD).

Sacks: Bengals, DE Justin Smith 6½; Chargers, LB Shawne Merriman 8½.

Game keys for the Bengals

Carson Palmer has to be the best QB on the field. He can't just be good; he needs to be at his best for the Bengals to win.

Keep LaDainian Tomlinson under wraps. He can break for a big play on any snap from anywhere on the field.

Get pressure on San Diego QB Phillip Rivers. He hasn't made many mistakes this season, but pressure could force some bad decisions.

Game keys for the Chargers

Don't turn the ball over. That hasn't been much of a problem, but there is no easier way to help the Bengals.

Control the clock. The Chargers lead the NFL in time of possession and they want to keep Cincinnati's offense off of the field.

Win on third downs. The Bengals have struggled on both sides of the ball in this category, particularly the last two games.


Bengals - Out: C Rich Braham (knee), LT Levi Jones (knee), WR Kelley Washington (hamstring); Doubtful: S Kevin Kaesviharn (knee), LB Brian Simmons (neck); Probable: DT Sam Adams (knee), RT Willie Anderson (shoulder), CB Tory James (knee), RB Rudi Johnson (thigh), TE Reggie Kelly (back).

Chargers - Out: DE Luis Castillo (ankle); Questionable: S Marlon McCree (calf), LB Shaun Phillips (calf), LB Derreck Robinson (foot); Probable: WR Vincent Jackson (leg), S Bhawoh Jue (knee)