Wife defends ex-Terp Dixon over steroids

Positive test came from over-the-counter supplement, she says

February 15, 2010|By Jeff Barker | jeff.barker@baltsun.com

Juan Dixon, the former NBA player and Maryland star who once delivered an anti- steroid message to Congress, believes his positive steroid test while playing overseas resulted from an over-the-counter supplement, his wife said Sunday.

The player "took an over-the-counter supplement and had no idea it had any type of steroid in it. It's not like he was injecting steroids," Robyn Dixon, his wife, said in an interview with The Baltimore Sun. Juan Dixon has remained in the Spanish city of Malaga and could not immediately be reached for comment.

"Playing seven years in the NBA and not having this issue, you don't think there's a problem with any of this stuff that's sold over the counter," she said.

Dixon was indefinitely suspended Friday, according to the Spanish team Unicaja, which said he had a positive result for Nandrolone, an anabolic steroid, during a test conducted in Greece. Dixon had played in Greece late last year before joining Unicaja.

Unicaja's Web site said that the suspension was imposed by Switzerland-based FIBA, the basketball governing body, and would last at least until the issue is resolved.

Robyn Dixon, who lives in the family's home in Silver Spring with the couple's two young children, said her husband's urine sample is to be tested again next Monday.

His wife said she didn't know which supplement might have triggered the positive. She said the player, Maryland's career scoring leader, will "go into GNC and see something and say, 'I'll try this.' It's probably something more to help the muscles repair."

E-mails to FIBA requesting information about Dixon's case were not immediately returned Sunday night.

Robyn Dixon said she has been researching the cases of other athletes who have tested positive for Nandrolone. She e-mailed an article that she said was "pertinent" from active.com, a sports Web site, headlined "Knowing your supplements can help you avoid a positive nandrolone test."

One supplement that can trigger a positive Nandrolone test, according to physicians, is 19-norandrostenedione, which is chemically related to androstenedione, or andro, and is itself banned by major sporting organizations in the United States and elsewhere.

Juan Dixon, whose parents died of AIDS-related complications before he finished high school, was invited to testify in 2005 by a U.S. House committee. The committee invited Dixon, who went to Calvert Hall and is the nephew of former Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon, because he had an anti-steroid message to convey. He told the panel in a prepared statement that he and other NBA players had succeeded "through hard work and dedication to our dreams, not through the use of steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs."

Dixon is best known locally for helping guide the Terrapins to the 2002 national championship. He played for the Washington Wizards, Portland Trail Blazers, Toronto Raptors and Detroit Pistons. He was in training camp with the Atlanta Hawks before the current season but did not make the team.


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