Sellers: Resisting steroids 'tough'

LANDOVER, Md. -- Washington Redskins fullback Mike Sellers said Monday that it's still "extremely tough" for NFL players to resist the temptation of steroids.

But Sellers added that he had some simple reasons to stay away from them.

"I've never been a fan of needles, so that helps," he said in an interview with The Associated Press. "It's just a matter of your values. Are you going to be stupid enough to make that choice? For me, I didn't feel it was worth it. I like my money.

"I don't want to get suspended, and I don't want to be labeled as a steroid user, so why take that chance?"

Sellers and teammate Edwin Williams spoke to high school students at the Redskins stadium, telling them that hard work is the better way to get ahead in sports.

"Through experiences I know from people who have taken it, through high school, college, even at this level, it don't make you a better player," Williams told the students. "You may look good. You may have six-pack abs and everything, but it doesn't make you a better player. [You need] determination, working hard at practices, things like that."

Williams is a local product all the way, having gone to high school in the area before playing in college at the University of Maryland. The offensive lineman earned a spot on the Redskins roster last year as an undrafted free agent.

So where along his career did he see teammates get tempted the most?

"Honestly I think it's a lot harder at the end of your college career and in the pros your first couple of years," Williams told the AP. "Because in college you want to make it to the NFL so bad that you want to take it: 'Man, if I take steroids, I can take my game to a whole other level. And I can get drafted high.'

"And then you get into the pros and you're not doing as well as you hoped, and you got money, too. You're like, 'Man maybe I should pick up some steroids.' It's a lot of added pressure from fans, family, things like that."

Williams, from his own experience, estimated that perhaps 20 percent of college football players use steroids. He said the NFL's testing policy acts as a strong deterrent, but said the NCAA's testing is much easier to circumvent.

"I think in college you can get away with it a lot more," Williams said.

Williams said steroids never interested him.

"I thought about it," Williams said. "But I've experienced people who've taken it and it just doesn't do anything for you. And it can kill you. I don't want to take something that can kill me. I think it's simple to me."

Sellers is the first to admit he hasn't lived the ideal role model life. He didn't take academics seriously and had to go through the CFL to get to the NFL. Then he was exiled to the Canadian league again after being charged with cocaine possession and numerous misdemeanors while playing for the Cleveland Browns.

"I'm not perfect, everybody knows that," he said. "But it comes down to a maturing process and being able to make that decision."

Sellers said the steroids temptation remains "extremely tough" in the NFL, but he agreed with Williams that the testing policies are keeping a lot of players from giving it a try.

"There are natural ways to do it," the 34-year-old Sellers said. "I've changed from body from [age] 25 to now just by doing it the right way, eating my protein and taking the right steps to do what I had to do. I just don't see a reason to do it if you work hard."