Steroids Prescribed To NFL Players

Report: 3 Carolina Panthers Filled Prescriptions Before Super Bowl

Steussie now plays for Tampa Bay, but when he was with the Panthers, he was reportedly close friends with fellow lineman Jeff Mitchell. The list says Mitchell received seven testosterone prescriptions – more than a six-month supply.

Todd Sauerbrun, the NFL's top-rated punter two years in a row, got more than just testosterone. According to the list, he also obtained syringes and an injectible steroid called Stanozolol – at one point, receiving 2,500 mg in 21 days.

"I honestly, in my wildest expectations, I could not imagine someone using 2,500 milligrams of Stanozolol, competing in the NFL," says Black.

Stanozolol is the same steroid that sprinter Ben Johnson was caught using in the 1988 Olympics. Like other steroids, it's used to increase muscle mass, but Black says it can also be used at the time of competition to give athletes a psychological edge.

"I would read this as being used for a competitive advantage," says Black.

Would it give an advantage? "Yes," says Black, who speaks from personal experience. While directing a drug-testing lab at Vanderbilt University, he took some Stanozolol for research purposes.

"I must have been around 40 when I was injected with Stanozolol," says Black. "And I pretty much felt like I was 18 again."

Dr. Harry Fisch of Columbia University Medical Center, says the long-term risks of steroids far outweigh the short-term benefits.

"If you take too much testosterone, you could have heart disease, heart attacks. You could have strokes," says Fisch. "There are psychological issues such as rage, aggression and actual depression when you remove the testosterone."

Fisch says he gives testosterone to men who are deficient, but not in the dosages that some of the Panthers were receiving.

"We prescribe very small amounts to men who need it," says Fisch. "These people are taking mega doses of these medications, well above what we would prescribe, and at levels that could result in testosterone levels that are sky high."

If that's true, why wasn't it detected?

"We test players on all teams each week, conducting more than 9,000 tests a year for steroids and related substances," says NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who told Congress last year the league spends $10 million annually on steroid testing and education.

The NFL says it tests all players for banned substances before the season starts, and then randomly tests seven players per team every week of the season.

"Over the past five seasons, just to take one example, we've only had 25 players who have violated our program and been suspended," says Tagliabue. "This is far below 1 percent."

NFL officials declined to give 60 Minutes Wednesday an on-camera interview. But at the NFL team owners meeting last week, Tagliabue said the league was looking into the situation with the Carolina Panthers.

"We have our security people investigating that, and I know they're cooperating closely with the Panthers," says Tagliabue.