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LUIS CASTILLO busted for steroids... NO JOKE!!!


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CHICAGO - (KRT) - Northwestern defensive tackle Luis Castillo, projected to be a first- or second-round pick in this month's National Football League draft, has sent a letter to all NFL teams acknowledging he took steroids after last season in an effort to speed the healing of an elbow injury that been bothering him during the year.


Castillo, who failed the drug-test portion of the scouting combine in Indianapolis last February, said he took androstenedione to help his performance.


The disclosure that he used andro, which the NFL considers to be in the steroid group, is not expected to hurt Castillo's draft status, particularly in view of the letter and Castillo's providing all pertinent testing information to teams.


Castillo and his agents also have let it be known they are willing to tie his signing bonus to future testing: If he tests positive, the bonus will be refunded.


"We've been in touch with all the teams and the response has been really, really positive," agent Mike McCartney said.


Castillo remains a projected first-day draft choice, either in the first or second round.


"I had him going 55th overall, in the second round, to Buffalo and I'm not going to alter that," ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. said. "He's a hustler, real competitive, stays on his feet, is strong. I didn't see the skill level on the field that he showed at the combine and he has had some minor injuries at Northwestern. But this is a good, solid player and this shouldn't hurt his standing whatsoever."


The NFL did not comment on the situation but under league policy, Castillo will be subject to reasonable-cause testing during his career, up to a maximum of 24 tests per year.


Castillo, at 6 feet 3 inches, 305 pounds, is rated among the top 10 defensive linemen in the leading draft evaluations.


He impressed scouts at the combine by running 4.85 seconds in the 40-yard dash and bench-pressed the standard 225 pounds 32 times, considered exceptional under testing standards.


The Academic All-American in economics was held out of practices during parts of last season because of the elbow injury and a broken bone in his right hand. But he clearly established his ability to play through pain by finishing with 75 tackles, 8.5 for losses, and two sacks for the Wildcats (6-6).


Castillo started his final 31 games at Northwestern and earned first-team All-American honors from Pro Football Weekly.


"I see him as a real good defensive tackle in a three-man rotation," Kiper said. "He's a great kid and I think what he did in coming forward with it showed accountability and teams look for that. I think that will be viewed very favorably by teams."


Northwestern coach Randy Walker said in a letter to NFL teams that Castillo never tested positive for steroids while at Northwestern. According to a school statement, no player during Walker's tenure ever has tested positive for steroids.





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