Jets' Top Pick Says He Took Steroids
By GERALD ESKENAZI, Special to the New York Times
Published: April 27, 1988
The drive to be the best led Dave Cadigan, the Jets' top draft pick, to try steroids after his college career ended.
Cadigan, the all-America offensive lineman from Southern California, admitted today that he took steroids, which are used to increase an athlete's bulk, for six weeks earlier this year so as not to be at a disadvantage when the National Football League staged its annual physical tests.
In those tests, conducted in February in Indianapolis, Cadigan, a 6-foot-5-inch, 285-pounder, outlifted every other offensive lineman. He also performed the most repetitions in lifting.
He outperformed Paul Gruber of Wisconsin, who was the first offensive lineman taken in the college draft last Sunday. Cadigan was the second.
''I think I'm better than Paul Gruber,''
Cadigan said today. ''I didn't know that until I competed against him in Indianapolis. I can tell you right now, I was the best lineman.''
Mike Hickey, who runs the Jets' draft and knew about the test results in Indianapolis, would not comment directly on Cadigan's steroid use. But Hickey suggested that it did not artificially pump up the player.
Hickey pointed out that Cadigan's father stood 6 feet 4 inches and now weighs 275, while the player's late mother was 5 feet 10 and weighed 160.
''Sometimes there's a look to a guy who's on steroids, and he didn't have it,'' said Hickey.
Cadigan was one of only 10 players, of the 330 who took the test in Indianapolis, who showed positive for steroids. Steroids are believed to have potentially serious side effects, and their use is banned by U.S.C., the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the N.F.L.
Asked why he started using steroids, Cadigan said: ''I've been playing football since I was 8 years old. I've been dedicating my life to football. I wasn't going to lose out to someone who took steroids. I'm not going to fall behind.''
Cadigan said his own use of the muscle-builder, which he described as minimal, did little to change his body-fat content or speed and he said that he stopped after six weeks.
He said he had been aware of the fact that coaches ''are looking for a low-fat guy.''
Cadigan said he took steroids only after he and his father, Pat, had researched the subject, then went to a private physician for ''low-level doses.''