Share This Page

Federal agents search office of former Steelers doctor

Federal agents searched the Downtown practice of a former Steelers doctor once linked to a human growth hormone investigation, authorities confirmed Tuesday.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Cleveland said it sent agents to Dr. Richard Rydze's office on First Avenue, but declined to say what authorities were looking for or whether they are targeting Rydze.

"The FBI was there in connection with law enforcement activity," said Mike Tobin, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Northern District of Ohio.

The search warrant would not be made public, Tobin said.

Agents arrived about 9 a.m. Monday at Optimal Health Center, Rydze's primary care office, where they took items and questioned employees, said an employee who declined to give her name.

She declined to say what agents seized or what they asked. Rydze, 61, of Mt. Lebanon could not be reached by phone or at his office.

Rydze is a doctor with the Pittsburgh FBI office, said Special Agent Julie Halferty, a spokeswoman for the office. Since 1997, he performed physicals for agents on a contract basis, she said. Halferty referred questions about the case to Tobin.

Tobin said authorities have not filed charges against Rydze. He would not say why the Cleveland office is overseeing the case.

In early 2007, investigators with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration questioned Rydze about buying $150,000 worth of testosterone and human growth hormone, according to the Times Union in Albany, N.Y. The Albany County District Attorney's Office was investigating performance-enhancing drug use, the newspaper reported.

Rydze parted with the Steelers organization that summer after 22 years of service, ESPN reported.

Steelers spokesman Burt Lauten said president Art Rooney II was not available for comment.

Rydze resigned as an internist with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in September 2007, a UPMC spokeswoman said.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.