Tony Mandarich reveals truth about steroids in NFL. Almost.

tony-mandarich-sports-illustrated-cover-1989So now former football behemoth Tony Mandarich reveals truth about his steroid use? Does he really?

I think Mandarich tells parts of the whole truth, not all of it. Based on early reports, his new confessional book doesn’t fully jibe with me, this old football juicer, not about steroids and HGH. I believe some of what Mandarich says today about his juicing past at Michigan State, despite unified denial 20 years ago by him, football coach George Perles, and MSU administrators. But he still covers for the coaches and university, and he goes totally downhill by insisting, still, that he didn’t use muscle dope in the NFL.

That’s illogical. Testing was and remains a joke in college football, but it’s just as useless in pro football or any other sport, as Mandarich surely knows. Given his NCAA football experience, Mandarich assuredly didn’t fear NFL urinalysis, as he feigns today during interviews for the book. Moreover, he regained massive weight following an illness, including muscle, to come back at 311 pounds for Indianapolis in 1996.

Typical of NFL players turned authors, Mandarich maintains the classic insider position. He doesn’t cross a certain line by alleging pervasive muscle doping in The League. He acknowledges problems both personal and institutional, like abuse of pain-killing drugs, yet he suggests anabolic steroids and HGH don’t impact competition.

Right, Tony. As a former steroid user in NCAA football who’s sought open discussion on this issue for 20 years, I thank you for nothing, still.

About the Author

Matt Chaney is a writer, editor, publisher and teacher living in Missouri. A former college football player, Chaney specializes in issues of sport, producing reports and commentary for publications such as The New York Daily News and The Kansas City Star. For his master’s degree thesis, Chaney analyzed media coverage of anabolic substances in American football from 1983 to 1999. His previous nonfiction books are: My Name Is Mister Ryan and Legend In Missouri. Chaney and his wife, Laura, operate Four Walls Publishing. For more information, visit