Luis Castillo - Seahawks Still Interested?

Northwestern defensive tackle Luis Castillo, regarded by many scouts and teams as a possible first-day pick in next weekend's NFL Draft, has admitted to taking androstenedione after his 2004 season.

Castillo's stock shot up after a very impressive 2005 Combine performance. Castillo and his agent, Mike McCartney of Priority Sports and Entertainment in Chiacgo, released the information to all 32 NFL teams. Castillo tested positive at the Combine.

But according to the Seattle Times, this announcement might not have deterred the Seahawks from inquiring about the 6'3", 303-pound DT. Dwaine Board, Seattle's defensive line coach, flew to Chicago and met with Castillo on Wednesday.

McCartney was recently quoted as saying that he and Castillo had been in contact with all NFL teams, and that he feels confident about where Castillo stands. The Seahawks may be inquiring about Castillo as a possible second-round pick. In addition, Northwestern head coach Randy Walker sent a letter to all NFL teams in which he said that Castillo never failed a drug test at the school.

Castillo was a three-year starter and All-Conference selection as a senior at Northwestern. He ran a 4.85 40-yard dash at the Combine in February, which solidified his elevated position.

On March 11, 2004, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a crackdown on products containing androstenedione, commonly known as "andro." The products are marketed over the counter as dietary supplements that enhance athletic performance. In the body, androstenedione is converted into testosterone and estrogen.

According to the FDA, while ads claim that supplements containing promote increased muscle mass, research has not shown this to be the case. In addition, studies have shown side effects and potential long-term risks; androstenedione poses the same kinds of health risks as anabolic steroids. Given the lack of proven benefits and the risks involved, the FDA is requesting companies to stop distributing dietary supplements containing androstenedione. The FDA is also encouraging Congress to consider legislation to classify these products as a controlled substance.

The NFL and the Players Association have agreed to follow stricter standards for testosterone levels in future. The new standards, which required the approval of the NFLPA, had been expected to be adopted in May when the NFL and the union hold their annual discussions about revising the drug program.

“We try to stay as much ahead of the curve as we can," Gene Upshaw, the executive director of the NFL Players Association, recently told Jamie Aron of the Associated Press. "We support trying to get cheaters off the field any way we can. This is another example of that."

Doug Farrar is the Editor-in-Chief of Seahawks.NET. Feel free to e-mail him at doug@seahawks.net.


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