ASHBURN, Va. – Washington Redskins receiver Santana Moss told a small group of teammates last week that he received treatments from the Canadian doctor charged with smuggling and supplying human growth hormone.
Moss portrayed the treatments as routine — and not involving banned substances — according to teammate Phillip Daniels.
"I believe he's telling us the truth," Daniels said Wednesday. "He got, like, three treatments, and who knows what happened after that."
Coach Mike Shanahan was also persuaded by Moss' version of events. The two met before Wednesday's offseason practice, and Shanahan came away confident that Moss will not be disciplined for a possible violation of the NFL's banned substance policies.
"I sat down and talked to Santana today and went through a bunch of situations that have happened to him," Shanahan said. "And I feel really good about where he's at. I feel real good that he'll be, I don't know if 'vindicated' is the word, but when people find out all the facts, everything will be OK."
Asked directly if he had any worries that Moss will be suspended, Shanahan said. "No."
Shanahan said his confidence was based solely on his conversation with Moss and that the Redskins had not done any investigating on their own, nor has the coach spoken to the NFL about the matter. Shanahan declined to discuss details but added: "There's a number of things that will occur probably in the next couple of weeks."
Moss referred questions to Shanahan.
"Coach Shanahan and I went over everything," Moss said as he walked off the field.
Moss' name surfaced in an affidavit in connection with the criminal complaint filed against Anthony Galea, a sports medicine doctor whose superstar clients include Tiger Woods and Alex Rodriguez. Galea faces federal criminal charges in the United States for allegedly bringing unapproved drugs into the country and unlawfully treating professional athletes.
Galea's assistant was stopped at the U.S.-Canadian border in September with human growth hormone, Actovegin and vials of other drugs. The assistant was on her way to the nation's capital, where she said a professional football player from Washington had called to request a session with Galea at a Washington-area hotel, according to the affidavit.
"They stopped somebody at the border who had stuff — who knows who they were going to see?" Daniels said. "Maybe they were coming to give (Moss) another treatment. ... It's kind of tough, man, but I believe in him."
Cornerback Carlos Rogers said Moss shouldn't be automatically tied to the doctor's alleged misdeeds.
"That part of the thing wasn't tied to him," Rogers said. "Everybody's put, 'Oh, he had HGH in his bag. It's Santana; it's him.' If they test Santana right now, nothing would come up in his body."
The NFL does not test for HGH, but the league could suspend a player if it has other proof that a player has used the substance.
HGH can used to help an athlete recover from an injury. Moss revealed earlier this month that his left knee had been bothering him for three years — even though he rarely missed a game — and that he had recently decided to have arthroscopic surgery to fix the problem. He has been a limited participant at this week's practices.
"I am in a rush to be out there with those guys," Moss said, "but I'm not in a rush to do anything stupid with my knee."
Daniels said Moss' predicament should make other players wary about consulting with outside doctors.
"That's a lesson for everybody," Daniels said. "Make sure you know who you're working with, go through your trainers and get the right people. And if they're going to work on you, maybe bring them here, bring them to the facility, let the guys see what they're doing."
Santana has played nine years in the NFL, including the last five with the Redskins. He has led the team in yards receiving every year he's been in Washington. He caught 70 passes for 902 yards with three touchdowns last season and played all 16 games.
"I hate that he's got to go through this and be labeled," Daniels said, "because I know what kind of guy he is. I know he's a good guy. ... It ain't like Santana went online to buy stuff. He was getting treatments, and you never know how these guys do things."