09-05-2004, 01:16 PM #1
Air Force Football Player Acquited
Air Force football player Overton Spence Jr. was found innocent of steroid -related charges Wednesday morning by a military judge.
Spence, 20, faced 10 years of confinement, dismissal from the academy and forfeiture of all pay and allowances if he had been found guilty of wrongful use and possession of an anabolic steroid.
Judge Kurt Schuman agreed with Spence's argument during Tuesday's courtmartial that he thought he was taking a legal steroid, which he purchased from a former teammate.
Spence's civilian attorney, Serge Herscovici, told reporters that Spence hopes to return to the football team. That can't happen until he is cleared of any wrongdoing by adminis- trators at the academy.
Spence declined comment but was emotional as the judge read the verdict. He wrapped his arms around Herscovici, then tearfully hugged his mother, Thomasena Denson. He also hugged four of his teammates who watched the verdict from the courtroom.
"My son is a good kid," Denson said. "He is not a criminal of any sort. This is a good man here. I didn't raise a statistic and this court didn't find him as one."
The defense argued that a statement by Spence to investigators in which he admitted buying and using steroids did not clearly indicate that they were illegal anabolic steroids .
Prosecutors accused Spence of changing his story at the trial, calling the incident a "drug deal gone bad."
During testimony Tuesday, Spence called football his life, and said he never intended to break the law by taking steroids. Spence was a backup linebacker last season.
"I am not a criminal," Spence said Tuesday. "Illegal steroids are illegal, and I never intended to break the law."
Football coach Fisher DeBerry said Spence will be allowed back to the team, but he would not put a timetable on Spence's return. He has been suspended since April. Air Force begins the season Saturday against California at Falcon Field.
DeBerry testified for the defense Tuesday, saying Spence told him he thought the pills he took were supplements, shortly after investigators confronted Spence in March.
If Spence is cleared to play by the academy, the NCAA apparently won't stand in the way.
A 1990 NCAA bylaw states athletes can be "declared ineligible only on the basis of an NCAA-administered drug test." Spence did not test positive for steroids in an NCAA test, but he admitted during testimony he knew he was violating NCAA rules by taking steroids.
"When these matters are resolved and he is allowed to rejoin the team he will certainly be welcomed back to the team with open arms," DeBerry said.
The not guilty verdict could be a positive development for junior Matthew Ward, the other Air Force football player accused of using and possessing anabolic steroids.Andrew Kalavanos, a lawyer for Ward, was in court Tuesday. Ward's lawyers likely will use Spence's defense tactics because the cases are similar.
Schuman will also be the judge in Ward's court-martial.
Cadets Eric M. Swartz and Jonathan S. Belkowitz have also been accused of steroid-related violations.
09-05-2004, 01:33 PM #2
all that for doing something that doesnt even harm another person..wtf is that crap
09-05-2004, 06:21 PM #3
How do you not know that D-bol is not illegal??
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