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Monday, November 24, 2003 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.

UW Sports
Coach aware of drugs, says former UW doctor

By The Associated Press

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A former University of Washington team doctor suspended after admitting he improperly handed out thousands of prescriptions told state health investigators that a coach and at least two athletic trainers knew he stockpiled drugs for the softball team without written prescriptions.

Citing a 192-page transcript of an interview with two state Health Department investigators, The (Tacoma) News Tribune reported yesterday that Dr. William J. Scheyer said he gave drugs to students, coaches, trainers — even the students' parents on occasion — and that it was done with the approval of UW staff.

The interview took place a month before the agency suspended his license to practice medicine.

The transcript of the Kirkland doctor's interview also revealed his admission that he prescribed anabolic steroids to one UW male athlete, a violation of NCAA rules.

"While the university is reviewing the matter, we will not comment on the specifics of the case," said Jim Daves, media relations director for the UW.

The News Tribune obtained a copy of the Health Department report under a public-records request. The state, citing its ongoing investigation and patients' privacy, removed the names of the UW coach, trainers, athletes and another team for which Scheyer said some of the drugs were intended.

The doctor worked for various UW teams over nearly two decades, but served only one — the women's softball team — from 1999 until his suspension.

Softball coach Teresa Wilson refused to comment when The News Tribune asked her about the doctor's interview. But at a news conference the day after Scheyer's medical license was suspended last month, Wilson said she was not aware of any illegal medical practices. A message left at her office yesterday was not immediately returned.

Scheyer, 76, submitted to the five-hour interview with investigators from the state Pharmacy Board and the Medical Quality Assurance Commission on Sept. 17.

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He later signed a sworn statement admitting he had prescriptions filled for people other than those for whom the prescriptions were written; failed to keep medical records on the athletes' care, and allowed trainers to dispense prescription medication.

Scheyer told state investigators that one coach knew everything.

"We've talked about how much she was aware in terms of prescribing. She's pretty much aware of the whole situation, right?" Charles Whitson, an investigator with the medical commission, asked Scheyer in reference to a coach whose name was removed from the transcript.

"Oh, yeah," Scheyer responded.

In another section of the interview, Whitson again asked Scheyer about the coach's knowledge of treatment he gave athletes.

"It always involved her," Scheyer said.

The state suspended Scheyer's license Oct. 16 after investigators concluded he wrote hundreds of prescriptions in the names of a UW softball player, a UW trainer and a national USA softball-team trainer.

Scheyer's attorneys, who refused to comment on the transcript, have requested a hearing before a state health-law judge in January.

If he were found guilty, Scheyer's medical license could be permanently revoked and he could face fines.

Seattle Times staff reporter Bob Condotta contributed to this article.

Copyright © 2003 The Seattle Times Company

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