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13 Univ. of Iowa Players— 1 From Md.—Hospitalized

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)–More than a dozen college football players are hospitalized—all suffering from muscle damage. One of those players is from Baltimore, and his father—a local football coach—wants to know what happened.

Kai Jackson explains the case is now under investigation.

An investigation is underway to determine what made the players sick. Yet the manner and number that became ill is raising concerns about supplements.

A scare for players on the University of Iowa football team and their families. Thirteen athletes went to the hospital after what’s being described as an intense workout.

Now doctors believe the players came down with a condition known as rhabdomyolsis.  

“Rhabdomyolsis happens when you have a breakdown of the muscle tissue,” said Dr. James Williams, St. Joseph Medical Center.

Williams says rhabdomyolisis combined with dehydration and the possibility of supplements is dangerous.

“You have muscle breakdown from intense workouts. You have dehydration and then supplements which are nephrotoxic are damaging to the kidneys directly. That’s a perfect storm for kidney failure,” Williams said.

One of those players is from Maryland. Jim Poggi is a linebacker for the Hawkeyes. His father Biff coaches Gilman’s football team where Jim once played.

“Obviously when your son’s admitted to the hospital that’s concerning,” Biff Poggi said.

It’s unclear whether the football players were actually taking supplements. An investigation will have to make that determination.

Experts say those who use creatine and other supplements are taking a risk.

“We can’t guarantee the effect of supplements. We don’t even know if they even work, but we do know they’re dangerous,” said Mike Gimbel, Powered By Me.

The players are doing well and responding to treatment. Overall muscle soreness and dark-colored urine are a couple of the symptoms they suffered.

The Iowa Board of Regents is giving the university 90 days to complete its investigation into the incident.

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