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A Quarterback's Quandary

Chicago Bears quarterback Jim Miller has been suspended for four games by the NFL after a random drug test revealed the existence of nandrolone in his system - the result of his taking the same kind of legal, over-the-counter dietary supplement available to the public.

"I'm upset and frustrated at the situation, but this is what has happened," Miller said. "I'm just trying to make the best out of a bad situation."

During an interview on The Early Show, Anchor Bryant Gumbel asked Miller why a professional athlete, with access to the best medical supplies, would buy an over-the-counter dietary supplement.


"I was 30 pounds overweight," replied Miller. "I was trying to lose weight. You knowÂ…everybody takes supplements. Guys are trying to get their body ready to take a beating every SundayÂ….It's just a known fact."

He added that the product he took did not list nandrolone as an ingredient. But another substance was converted to nandrolone when he ingested it.

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"I think people are going to say, 'Here he is, an intelligent guy, and here he is and made this mistake.' It was a dumb mistake, and it was something I overlooked," said the quarterback. "I did take this substance, and I am taking responsibility for taking this ingredient in this supplement."

Miller explained that he does not fault the NFL; he feels he was adequately warned. At training camp, the players are given a list of ingredients to avoid, a list that grows longer every year.

"But," added the athlete, "it is our responsibility as players to understand what goes in our bodies."

Although he tested positive for nandrolone on the NFL's test, he tested negative on a second, outside test he took shortly thereafter.

"Anabolic steroids areÂ…oil-based substances that can stay in your body three months," Miller explained. "The things I took can go out of your body in a matter of two, three days."

Although his suspension means he has lost about a fourth of his salary, Miller said he remains optimistic about his situation.

"I think something good is going to come out of this," he concluded. "Again, I'm just trying to make the best of a bad thing. The NFL doesn't want to be associated with steroids and, you know, that is a good thing and sends a good message to the youth of America."

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