Former Pittsburgh Steelers doctor sentenced to 10 years in prison

Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) /

Former Pittsburgh Steelers team doctor, Richard Rydze, has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.

Richard Rydze, a former Olympic diver and Steelers team doctor for nearly two decades, has been found guilty of conspiring to illegally distribute anabolic steroids, human growth hormone and narcotic painkillers, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The former team doctor is accused of distributing painkillers since 2005 and human growth hormone and steroids since 2007. Rydze is being charged with 180 counts. He has until May 15 to turn himself in.

"“Rydze, 68, was convicted May 2 by a jury in federal court in Pittsburgh of 180 counts after three days of deliberations. He will be allowed to turn himself in as dictated by the U.S. Marshal, but not before May 15.“The trial for Rydze, who left the Steelers in 2007, was one of the longest in the history of federal court here. Ryde was prosecuted by staffers from the U.S. attorney’s office from Cleveland because he had been the doctor for the FBI in Pittsburgh,” according to the Post-Gazette."

U.S. District Judge Joy Flower Conti, who sentenced Rydze to 10 years in prison, accompanied the charged with the order for Rydze to pay restoration charges of $32,390, as well as $18,300 in special assets, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The court has asked that Rydze be placed in a prison closer to Pittsburgh and one that can accommodate his medical needs. They also hope that Rydze can participate in a residential drug abuse program. He will be considered for release after three years.

Rydze conspired with James Hatzimbes, the owner of HSE Salon and Wellness Center in Brentwood, and William Sadowski ANEWrx pharmacy in Robinson. Hatzimbes was sentenced in August to 14 months in federal prison. Sadowski was sentenced in 2013 to 2 1/2 years.

According to the Post-Gazette, a testimony and evidence proved that the three conspired to distribute the steroids and other drugs in a kickback scheme that Rydze benefited from.

Whenever anything like this happens, you want to know the most information to understand the entire situation. Rydze was a well-respected man in Pittsburgh, but after this, chances are his legacy with the team fades.

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How this continues to impact the community will come with time, but for right now, it appears his effect in Pittsburgh is going to disappear within the next month.