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

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.


One Comment

  1. moleman says:

    A full investigation is needed here, this story reeks of abuse / coverup.

    1. some coach says:

      most likely the coach ran them into the ground on a hot summer day and didnt think a five minute water-break would be manly.
      creatine is fairly safe but does require the athlete to stay hydrated. but that should be common sense to a decent coach.
      its funny, supplements get the demon end of the stick as far as safety concerns but pharmaceutical companies and food makers seem to get a free pass on testing and regulation(shrugs)

      1. Joe Schmoe says:

        When have pharmas ever gotten a pass?

      2. some non-coach says:

        It’s Winter…. even in Iowa. They’re in the hospital now.

      3. Sincerely Yours says:

        It’s wintertime – not a hot summer day. At least it is in Iowa. Not sure about where you live.

      4. John says:

        Guess what? Traditional ‘pharma companies’ aren’t the ones making these over-the-counter supplements used by athletes. But don’t let facts get in the way of your (baseless) finger pointing. But nice try, lib.

      5. Colin says:

        I don’t think there are many hot summer days in Iowa City during the month of January.

      6. Bog & Bam says:

        Guess what? Traditional ‘pharma companies’ aren’t the ones making these over-the-counter supplements used by athletes. But don’t let facts get in the way of your (baseless) finger pointing. But nice try, lib.

        Lib? yeh, sure , he’s a Libertarian, who doesn’t want anything regulated except sex in the bedroom and what God you pray to.

      7. Tom M. says:

        That is because the FDA and the drug companies routinely hire each others ex-employees……

      8. LSBrew says:

        You are an idiot.

      9. Mike says:

        The suppliments are not covered by any type of regul;ation as they are considered “food”..The companys don’t even have to list all the ingredients not the amount contained in each. Different batches of the same product my contain differing amounts of chemicals.
        The Nutritional Suppliments are not safe and should be taken off the market.

      10. sharky says:

        Isn’t it the middle of winter?

      11. Marcus says:

        most likely Iowa is in the northern hemisphere of our planet… most likely it’s kinda cold there right now. where are you from?

      12. Don says:

        To all of you that are dismissing that it is the middle of winter; as a Marine, I can tell you we had more cases of dehydration in the winter than during the summer. Your conditioned to drink more when it’s hot and your sweating. But during a 5 mile run during the winter, the air cools your body and you don’t feel a need to drink as much.

      13. Chris Richardson says:

        You’re kidding, right? It takes a minimum of $100M just to get FDA approval for a new prescription drug.

      14. Cornfed says:

        They practice in an indoor facility. Not hot, but not cold either. I’m sure they’re sweating plenty and dehydration could easily occur. But that’s not the issue, really. The issue are these supplements. Don’t blame the coaches. Players take stuff all the time behind their coaches’ backs. I guarantee it — the players will admit to having taken some supplement, and they will say the coaches had no knowledge.

      15. JK says:

        Ran them into the ground on a “hot summer day”? Really, it’s like 20 below in Iowa right now and i doube the indoor practice facility is that hot.

      16. docwilly says:

        you have no idea about testing in the Pharma industry nor the safety standards expected and enforces. Try saying something intelligent

      17. John C says:

        “most likely the coach ran them into the ground on a hot summer day”

        Summer’s been over for more than four months – it wouldn’t take that long for symptoms to show up. It’s much more likely the coach didn’t give adequate time to warm up in cold weather, increasing the risk of muscle injury during vigorous exercise. It’s unlikely that a creatine supplement would cause muscle soreness under any conditions.

      18. Rob says:

        bs supplements are not investigatef unless tjere is a problem, regular pharmaceuticals get testing prior to release. pharmaceutical n food makers are also subject to inspections for safety

      19. Holly says:

        A hot summer day in Iowa in January??? Obviously, you have never lived in Iowa or you have no idea where it is on the map! Besides the fact that they have been doing this same workout for years and yet nothing like this has happened before. Plus 13 players at one time which is extremely odd. My guess is that they will find that all of these players were taking something to enhance their workouts. Hopefully, they will all recover and become wiser about what they put into their body.

      20. Richard says:

        Coach you are right. Creatine has been studied fairly extensively and it’s safe when taken in moderation. Even aspirin when taken in heavy doses is bad for you. I’ve studied supplement use for years and they are safe when taken correctly.

      21. Jesse says:

        They were doing 100 squats with 225 lbs followed by sled pulls for time.

        And doctors are wondering why they got Rhabdo? Gimme a break.

      22. Dave says:

        There are no hot summer days in mid January in Iowa. You might need a little geography lesson.

      23. Andrew says:

        “It’s unclear whether the football players were actually taking supplements.” LOL. This is a completely anti-supplement story. The whole story points the finger at supplements, then admits there is no evidence. What BS! And to the guy who libertarians want regulate bedroom and worshipping activities, you are an ignorant, big-mouthed moron. Use a dictionary, tool.

    2. Rick Price says:

      When did Pharmas get a pass??? Get real! They own the companies that test the drugs they want to make billions off of. Mostly the ones you see mentioned in class action suits on daytime and late night TV.

      Most supplements are completely safe IF taken as directed. Pharma and the FDA take any opportunity to demonize these guys so that they can control the whole pie. More power and $$$$ for them if you have to buy expensive patented supplements.

    3. Rick Price says:

      As far as the coach running them into the ground? Not likely. Most coaches understand the supplements they use and the risks. They also understand the terms intense and extreme workouts usually mean insane. I’d look at the players involved and the one shot they get at making pro. Add that to the 300 page monthly supplement ads that pass for ‘muscle mags’ where steroid loaded freaks demonstrate their own intense workout to rapidly build your own (insert body part here). Most of these workouts would kill the subject of the article, much less a non-juicing college athlete (they were tested for steroids, right?). Not the fault of the supplements or the coach. Look at the players, what they read and their dreams.

    4. ask says:

      STOP DRUG USE IN SPORTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. James Comer says:

        @ask, you should ask for a brain, if you read down into the story as it’s clear that MOST did not… you will see that this is much ado about NOTHING….it is stated that it is not even known if they athletes took any supplements…. and “they probably did” doesn’t count if you think that. This is nothing more than a ploy to grease the skids for ” you people” who don’t read the details when a new bill or plan sounds good because of it’s name… this is meant to get you to support Codex Alimentarius which is a very very VERY bad thing…

    5. Dave says:

      Supplements are unlikely to be the cause. A more likely scenario is overtraining without proper hydration and nutrition. As triathlete, who often pushes the body to the extremes; I have leaned to properly hydrate and nourish my body before during and after such works. I have never had any issue relating to muscle breakdown or dehydration like the players from IOWA experienced. I would suggest football trainers start learning how to properly train their players. Working out to pure exhaustion is counterproductive and will actually make the player weaker.

    6. Andy says:

      Dr. James Williams shoujld lose his license and go to prison for his criminal irresponsibility in blaming supplements for somehting they can’t do, when the problejm is clearly that some idiot doctor prescribed statins to these players.

      Statins DO cause rhabdomyelosis – in people who do not work out. It is a well known risk of taking them. Football players and bodybuilders routinely have high cholesterol as part of their body’s adaptation to strength exercise – this is normal and not unhealthy. THey are routinely offered statins by doctors like Dr. James WIlliams who don’t actually know anything about medicine. Most know to decline statins so they don’t get sick (with rhabdomyelosis) from them. Apparently the football players were too young and inexperienced to know this.

      1. Smart Andy says:

        On which quack website did you read this nonsense? Your post is purified stupidity.

    7. Chris says:

      Once again lazy reporters are not doing their research. Rhabdomyolisis is actually caused by extreme overtraining. This is definitely VERY possible for people (like athletes) who have highly developed cardio-vascular systems and a very high lactic acid tolerance. What happens is very intensive exercise designed to generate intense muscle fatigue, coupled with a very strong endurance can cause a person to wear out the proteins in their muscles so rapidly the shredded proteins end up clogging the kidneys as they body attempts to process them compounded by exhausting already degraded muscle proteins creating a cascade of excess proteins in the blood, causing rhabdomyolisis.
      Its very hard for an unfit person to contract this condition because they simply can’t work out hard enough to get to this point, but a well conditioned athlete can and are prone to this very extreme overtraining condition.

      Its actually one of the many ways that somebody can simply die of exhaustion.

      Somebody is covering for this over-zealous coach, who essentially almost worked his team to death with overly-intensive workouts coupled with too little recovery-time and showing care to the health of his athletes. The players complained of “the hardest workouts of my life.” That should be a huge tip off that overtraining is to blame.

      1. Man Among Sheeple says:

        So it couldn’t POSSIBLY be supplements. Wow, thanks for the clarification.

        Once again, someone didn’t even do enough research to know how to spell rhabdomyolysis. A player or player’s subjective remarks about the nature of the workouts means a lot less than the comments of the doctor who noted that 13 cases of rhabdomyolysis all at once was essentially unheard of in his 32 years experience.

    8. mitch52 says:

      Whats with the shills and taodies for Big Pharma here? Pharma drugs are the number 3 cause of death in this country every year. Hundreds of Thousands of people. If a supplement causes any harm it is banned whether it should heve been or not. Where are the hundreds of Thousands of people dying from supplements? Tryptophan is a harmless amino acid, very effective on insomnia. Some factory in Mexico made a contaminated batch and a several people died. Tryptophan gets outlawed. That makes as much sense as outlawing eggs because of the factory problems earlier this year. But of course there is too much money to be made in Pharma insomnia drugs so Tryptophan must go. Just one example, there are more. Enjoy your drugs instead of eating and living healthy and taking supplements.

      1. Si says:

        The #3 cause of death in this country? Where are you getting your statistics, Mitchie? Pulling them from where the sun don’t shine? Pharmaceutical companies are heavily regulated and monitored by the FDA. The requirements to prove safety, quality, purity and efficacy of FDA-regulated pharmaceuticals are actually quite rigorous. Manufacturing controls are among the highest of any industry. You might want to look into this before spouting off spurious statistics and unfounded nonsense. And enough of this “FDA is so tough on supplements and not drugs” garbage (seen in several statements above). Have any of you heard of Meridia? Vioxx? Avandia?

      2. FDJ says:

        Are you trying to defend the FDA by bringing up Vioxx? Seriously? 28,000 people died from Vioxx and you’re using that as an example of how awesome the FDA is?

    9. dave says:

      First lets not blame LEGAL QUALITY SUPPLEMENTS. This is not the problem. Never has been and never will be. If anything the use of creatine may have prevented this from happening.
      As for blaming players it is possible for 2 reasons. One they may be taking ILLEGAL DRUGS which is more likely than supplements. Or two these players have no clue on proper nutrition for an athlete.
      Which brings me to the real problem THE COACHES. The workout routines they are handed, the concepts they have pushed for years and their complete ignorant lack of knowledge on exercise, muscular function, and nutrition is absolutely scary.
      I am sure some coaches are good and have the knowledge but they are the minority. The weight training techniques alone perscribed to the players by these coaches are AN ABSOLUTE JOKE and cause more back and hip damage than is needed. As one simple example most coaches do not focus their football players on the deadlift. This one mistake alone is INSANE it is simply the most important and effective excercise for football yet they can’t wrap their tiny useless brains around this.

    10. Al says:

      Suppliments didn’t cause this problem!!! Its an isolated incident. I’ve been taking bobybuilding suppliments for 30 years without side effects. Millions of people have been taking suppliments for decades without mass outbreaks of ‘dark urine” and “muscle damage”. Med doctors are all idiots.

    11. amateur bodybuilder says:

      Exertional Rhabdomyolysis – do a web search – it’s not uncommon. To blame it on “supplements” is irresponsible. Creatine is one of the most well-studied and proven safe. It is NOT nephrotoxic. When it comes to evil “supplements”, one well-known supplement – your basic post workout protein drink – has actually been shown to prevent exertional Rhabdo.

  2. bmorehoney says:

    I would expect that his father and also a football coach would have instilled into his son the proper way to train and the dangers of drugs and supplements. Unless, of course, this is not being taught in high school or by their parents.

    1. Jim M says:

      It is possible that the players were given banned and/or dangerous “supplements” and told they were vitamins or nutrients. It cold also be they were given something to lessen the pain and increase the intensity of the workouts, again without their knowledge.
      My bet is Iowa football gets the ‘death penalty’ from this one.

  3. Joseph says:

    Maybe they raided DJK’s medicine cabinet?

    1. Reed says:

      I am from Iowa City, and attend UI, and I got to say… that’s just funny! Good comment man!🙂

    2. Sheila says:

      You can die from drinking too much water, would they ban that also?

      1. famca says:

        Common sense would teach us not to ingest substances which can cause harm when used incorrectly. You can die from drinking too much alcohol, but we needn’t ban alcohol, because it has been used for thousands of years without TOO much harm. ( Some might differ)

        Substances like creatine have too short a track record to make a determination. There’s no regulation of such substances, say by the FDA, so there’s only what knowledge we can glean from public sources, and there’s no general consensus on their safety or efficacy. So you places your money and takes your chances.

        I have no problem with that, because I don’t believe in nanny state government. But would I take a so-called natural substances just because they’re available? No way!

  4. Dat_Truth says:

    Creatine is a naturl substance found in meat. I’ve been using it for over 10 years everyday. Anyone that is worked out hard and isn’t drinking enough fluid will get this stype of sickness. Don’t blame a safe substance because some coaches don’t understand proper training.

    1. Kevin says:

      They will blame the supplement and some congressman will rush towards a tv microphone somewhere, and tell everyone how he has introduced legislation to ban Creatine. I also use Creatine, responsibly, and enjoy the excellent results it help to give. I have heard there are now some “concentrated forms of Creatine on the market. I read of this same problem with some high school football team not so long ago, as well.

      1. Kelvin says:

        What, then, would be the questions the good doctor would ask when this number of people show up at his ER? It’s not like they went for a summer marathon in Death Valley. The athletes and coaches simply forgot to bring water?

    2. chuck says:

      The substance isn’t “safe.” There’s a tremendous difference between consuming meat, which indeed contains some creatine (which is mostly destroyed during cooking), and consuming a significant amount of isolated creatine as a supplement. Just because something is natural doesn’t mean it’s harmless, especially in much higher dosages than the body is able to handle. Hyper-supplementation is a problem in and of itself; hydration during even intense exercise is a separate issue, one which is unlikely to result in such a large population immediately experiencing kidney failure of any sort. There may be a combination of factors involved, but these kids should NOT be using creatine or other alleged performance-enhancing supplements (especially from idiots who tell them that they’re natural and therefore safe).

      1. Dat_Truth says:

        Creatine is safe. Otherwise the hundreds of thousands of people that use it would be filling the hospitals. They are not. Creatine signals muscles to uptake more water, and therefore you drink more water.

      2. thinksbeforespeaks says:

        Creatine, when used properly, IS safe. It is also the most studied sport’s supplement on the market.


      3. Dr Cadbury says:

        Here lies the problem when you have people commenting on topics way beyond their expertise.

        Rhabdomyolysis is the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue. This can be due to extensive trauma (eg; a car crash) but in this situation it was caused by demanding exercise. It is more common in poorly conditioned people and/or those that have had a long layoff (ie; what we’ve seen here), because this predisposes people to doing more muscular damage (eg; poor technique, greater fatigue, greater injury risk, etc).

        Rhabdomyolysis releases the cellular constituents of skeletal muscle tissue into the blood stream, notably myoglobin and creatine kinase (NB: this is NOT creatine or a supplement). Myoglobin is nephrotoxic and that is what has caused the kidney damage seen in some of the players, especially when you couple that with impaired kidney function following dehydration. Creatine kinase is normally found in muscle cells and it is released following muscle damage, it itself doesn’t cause damage but it is used as a diagnostic marker.

        Supplement use most certainly did not cause what we see here and the players would have experienced what they did whether they took supplements or not. As for the safety of said supplements, things like whey protein and creatine are the most ‘proven’ and safest supplements out there – they have been used for decades by millions and despite that there is no evidence that they can cause harm in healthy people.

        Before anybody tries to call me out I suggest that they look up ‘Rhabdomyolysis’ in a pathology or general medicine textbook.

    3. Jim M says:

      Just eat meat-why take a chance some company is packaging this in a safe to take manor?

    4. Kristin says:

      Agreed! This condition is caused by overworking and lack of proper attention to the trainee by the trainer. Nothing to do with any supplements, especially creatine. I’m so sick of people blaming supplements for everything. The FDA wants to ban supps so that we are forced to turn to Rx meds. Heck, they don’t even know if they were taking supps, so why even bring it up here? Oh yeah, to strike fear into the hearts of Americans. Oh, we need more regulation! NOT.

  5. Rich T. says:

    People are absolute idiots for connecting supplementation to this……geez….just another way for the Government to now come in and bad any and all supplements, even vitamins, minerals, amino acids etc etc…bunch of BS…..especially considering the toxic agents the Pharma companies manufacture and our doctors prescribe for us are way way worse….

    1. SFC Dunbar says:

      I totally agree. Ive been using Creatine in moderation for years and it has done nothing but bring me health, mentally as well as physically. Im 48 going on 27! work out regularly as an Army Master Fitness trainer. Remember the gal who drank herself to death with water last year on a radio contest- anyone crying fowl over water being bad for you? NOT! because it comes down to “moderation”. Anytime you abuse anything, you are going to face the possibility of suffering side effects. Supplements dont kill people, people who abuse supplements kill themselves` Have a great Army day

      1. Steve says:

        Great Comment, SFC Dunbar – And “THANK YOU” for serving your (and my) Country! Sounds like you do it well.

        Rome, GA

      2. Grimriffer says:

        Don’t matter. All the gubmint hears is a chance to bring all supplements and “natural foods” under the control of the FDA. That way they can keep the citizenry unhealthy and dependent on big pharma. All they’ll have to do is declair a vitamin or mineral dangerous and it will immidiately be illegal to have or consume. Its about population control and keeping their foot on your neck. I hope and am sure that you, SFC Dunbar, remember who it is you fight for. The American people, NOT the government.

      3. Kevin says:

        Totally appreciate your service. I wholeheartedly agree with proper use of the supplement Creatine, as it is a natural substance, and when used responsibly and properly helps one achieve greater fitness.

        I always worry about the government using these types of hyped up news stories as the basis to launch a congressional “investigation/hearing”. They do this to grandstand on a current event, and also I believe they often propose legislation so they can sell exemptions to “special” companies whose product they find a way in their legislation to exempt. That, I believe, is the reason for the complexity of the US tax code, and all of the exemptions politicians have sold over the years, have made a total mess out of our tax laws. I expect they will soon do this as well, with the supplement industry, as their is simply too much money involved for them to keep their greedy paws off of.

        If they weren’t working for the government, both of our political parties would be considered continuing criminal enterprises under the RICO act, and all the politicians could be prosecuted accordingly. If the FBI were to do their job, and apply the test as to whether the political parties are continuing criminal enterprises, they could come to no other conclusion than the fact that they are, and all members of both parties should be prosecuted.

      4. SSgt Snuffy says:

        No you have a great AIR FORCE day, SFC!

        G.I. grits and G.I. gravy
        Gee I wish I’d joined the Navy. (pfft J/K)🙂

  6. Dr Brandon says:

    abuse and coverup?? nothing is being covered up and there was no abuse. If you learn about rhabdo and look into what the players were doing you may be able to make a more informed and educated guess. The players had just gone from basically a month of inactivity straight into offseason workouts which are generally much more intense than workouts during the season. Once one player came down with symptoms I am sure the University was proactive in admitting any player who had even the slightest symptom. Also if you look at player comments and even the interviews with Mr Poggi its not hard to see this whole thing had been overblown. Serious and unfortunate yes but not abuse or coverup.

    1. Jay says:

      You are misinformed. They were doing an exceptionally intense work outs that were clearly irresponsible abuse by the coaching and training staff. 13 players spending now 4 nights in the hospital is not overblown.

      Iowa is attempting to sweep this under the rug and hide it from public scrutiny and you are obviously part of that effort.

      If people worked out horses this hard they would be arrested for animal cruelty. People no problem as long as we get the wins. So sad.

      Coach Ferentz & the strength and conditioning coach Doyle must be fired.

      1. Granny says:

        Pray tell the source of this knowledge. Otherwise, it is uniformed conjecture that reveals your stupidity.

      2. Dr Brandon says:

        Please tell the misinformation?? The workouts have been completed in the past with no problems. Also if you read the whole interview with Mr Poggi he states that he has full trust in the coaches and even sends his own players to such programs. So where is the misinformation and coverup??

  7. Bill in Louisville says:

    Wouldn’t be a big surprise. Iowa’s football program has had lots of players get arrested for drug related charges the past few years. If you have no problem smoking weed, why not some “supplements” that aren’t screened for in urine tests. Try to keep up with the Ohio State’s of the world

    1. smitherton says:

      I doubt it was anything illegal as you imply Bill in Louisville. When I first heard of this I immediately thought they were taking creatine. You know, a perfectly legal supplement sold everywhere, even some grocery stores. It is well known that you must drink lots of water to avoid cramping and similar type problems. Think and research before you post and show your ignorance sometime. Wait and see folks, it’ll come out that they were on creatine.

  8. EJ says:

    Unfortunately they didn’t list the rest of Coach Poggi’s comments about Iowa’s head coach. If they did this story may not seem quite as bad, and it isn’t.

    1. Dr. Brandon says:

      The link below is a great article. See the end for more of Coach Poggi’s comments about how he feels about Ferentz.


  9. Joe33 says:

    “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

    WRONG. Absolutely wrong. Creatine has been studied time and time again to measure its effectiveness, side effects etc. Besides protein, creatine is the ONLY supplement that has been scientifically-proven to aid in building of muscle tissue. (Look it up.) Does it work for everyone? No. Can it be harmful if taken in large amounts or if it is low-grade? You bet. Anything can be harmful if you abuse it. The key is to know what you are buying and to take it AS DIRECTED. And drink plenty of water, which any athlete, weightlifter etc. must do anyway.

    People make kneejerk statements about things they have zero knowledge of. Rhabdo can happen anytime the body works out “too hard”, without adequate resting time and hydration. I’m betting creatine is not to blame in any way, unless they were abusing the amounts.

    Prayers out for a speedy recovery to these athletes.

    1. Dr Brandon says:

      I think the statement you are complaining about was meant to cover supplements in general. Not just creatine.

      1. Joe33 says:

        Dr. Brandon,
        You may be correct. But we hear these types of statements often and with regularity. Remember the days of Sosa and McGuire? How many headlines read “Creatine, The Legal Steroid of Athletes” etc. ? So while his statement may have concerned supplements in general, the article does not do a good job discriminating or compartmentalizing well, anything. Just my .02

  10. Bill says:

    Never mind that anyone who consumes beef or fish – 99% of those reading this comment – also consumes creatine. (which is in fish, hamburgers, etc)

    Now we’re just debating amount; or, alternatively, why some like to demonize creatine as an outlet for their subconscious dislike of guys with muscle and testosterone.

    1. Joe33 says:

      Yup. You are right on Bill. I would agree that the overwhelming majority of supplements are pointless junk. Maybe not harmful, but pointless. Creatine is not in that category. It’s just more media sensationalism, posturing, and folks talking out of their you-know-whats. To Bill in Louisville: Pardon? Try again.What does “smoking weed” have to do with totally legal sports supplements? How is that analogous? Sorry but your statement makes no sense whatsoever.

      I was a Div. 1 athlete in college. If they would have found marijuana in my system I would have been toast. (I’ve never smoked weed, ever.) How is that related to supplements?

  11. JJIrons says:

    Stating that “supplements” are dangerous is just plain silly. 100’s of millions of people take supplements daily around the world and are just fine, and in many cases they improve people’s health. CERTAIN so-called supplements can be dangerous, yes. Just quit taking things that isn’t scientifically validated or haven’t been certified as banned-substance free!

  12. zombierocket says:

    What lunacy… you might as well say BUSH DID IT.

    1. moleman says:

      Bush did do it when he signed the drug prescription program that benefitted greatly all Pharmaceutical co’s. Have you noticed suddenly there is a Walgrens, CVS, Rite Aid on every street corner now & drugs are more expensive. It was a huge windfall for business & a carrot for consumers.

  13. zombierocket says:

    But we do know they’re dangerous,” said Mike Gimbel,

    You do? That’s just absurd!

    1. Joe33 says:

      Haha – exactly. “We do know they’re dangerous.” Thanks Mike Gimbel. You know what else is dangerous? Stupidity and ignorance.

      1. sharky says:

        If they aren’t dangerous, then why are they in the hospital?

  14. ygbodybuilderCUZZ says:

    These experts who think creatine is ‘dangerous’ need be named and quick. Their blatant disregard for scientific fact must be exposed.

    I’m quite surprised that fourloko was not also blamed here as well.

  15. Mike Wryley says:

    probably got a batch from China with who-knows-what mixed in,
    aka Chinese dog food that kills you pet

  16. Autumn says:

    The coaches overworked those kids, didn’t allow them any brief rest or water breaks, and now are looking to shift the blame to avoid lawsuits. Losers.

  17. CommonSensePlease says:

    As usual there is the typical reactionary comments. First, there may indeed be an issue with “supplements” or it could have been intense training. No one knows at this point. However, ignorant statements categoring “supplements” into harmfull substances is foolish and damaging. Too much of anything makes you sick.. Try eating a gallon of ice cream. Lets not be like that idiot sheriff in Arizona that blamed right wing rhetoric for the terrible shooting before he had any facts about the shooter.

    1. Joe33 says:

      Oh but that’s what we do in this country CSP! And the media pours gunpowder on a candle as a matter of course! C’mon, don’t stop us from being an uneducated, fat, myopic heard of sheep that we are! After all, our government always knows what’s best and they’ll take care of us. : ) wink wink

  18. Mike Michaels says:

    Actually, I can see where creatine could add to the problem. One of the known side effects of creatine is possible dehydration and cramping and drinking extra fluids is advised. Dehydration can also increase the chance of rhabdo. Creatine/dehydration/intense workout can = rhabdo. Happened to me.

  19. Tim says:

    So….. we KNOW that supplements are dangerous? My vitamin C and omega 3 fish oil are DANGEROUS?? OMG, I’d better stop right now!!

    This “expert” is an idiot! I remember starting 2 a day practice/workouts in high school for football, and there were times it fel like you were going to die, especially after loafing around a couple of months between sports seasons.

    I started taking supplements after my heart attack last year at age 39. What I stopped doing is eating processed, fatty foods that were killing me, and now the supplements are helping me maintain and gain greater health. Yeah, protein powder, vitamins, green foods – all supplements, but they can help your body when you know what to do with them. It’s not the supplements that are dangerous, its ignorance.

  20. Leon says:

    I am certainly no conspiracy freak, but these type of incidents in the incredibly corrupt world of college athletics need to to be thoughly investigated. Not only by the school (or UI hospital) or the NCAA which all have a large financial interest in the outcome, but by an independent 3rd party. Schools use and abuse players so they can cash in millions from bowl games & TV contract and have little concern for their education or their health. Boosters push schools and coaches to bend/break the rules everyday so they can win. They are worse than any sleazy lobbying group in Washington with their careless disregard for the welfare of a bunch of 19 and 20 years olds. All so they can sit in their luxury boxes and feel important becuase “their” school wins a game. Sad and pathetic. On top of that, the NCAA has shown again they only have rules when they don’t affect the bottom line. (e.g. Newton @ Auburn and Pryor @ Ohio St) With all this being said, why should people not be suspicious that something illicit may be going on when a large group of athletes working out together get hospitalized all at the same time?

    1. Joe33 says:

      The subject and controversies revolving round the NCAA and college athletics are valid ones. The NCAA has MANY flaws in its system. However, making broad brush statements like you have is unfair at best, ignorant at worst. Yes, there are certainly examples of corruption and “bottom-line” type of thinking. And these controversies always revolve around the large revenue-making sports and programs/players. The other 95% of NCAA athletes and coaches have absolutely nothing to do with you what you are talking about. I was in that other 95%.

      1. Leon says:

        Joe…..Very valid point as the majority of the problems I was referring to revolve around FB and Bskt where the vast majority of the money is. I don’t recall any booster friends of mine clamoring for lacrosse, softball or gymnastics tickets to impress their clients. LOL. Problems with drinking, drugs, crime or grades, within the other sports are less than the general student body. I played baseball in college and there were no cushy summer jobs or new cars waiting around for us to drive. I think it was for the best as we actually went to class, got a degree and didn’t develop the “world owes us everything” attitude so common in the money sports. It just makes me sad to see so many kids throwing away a opportuntiy for an education on the pipe dream of big money in the NBA or NFL.

      2. Joe33 says:

        Agree 100% Leon. The fact that you played college baseball (I played college lacrosse) tells me that you know exactly what I’m talking about! When it comes to D1 football and hoops, the NCAA is all sorts of $%^# up! It is one big pit of hypocrisy. Cheers!

      3. NavyBuckeye says:

        Wow, Leon, you played college baseball so you leave it out of the money sport talk. Was that a purposeful tactic? Did you learn that by watching CBS or NBC?

        If I am not mistaken the biggest contracts and the highest paid athletes are..wait..baseball players.


      4. Leon says:

        NavyBuckeye….It appears you are comparing apples to oranges. While there is obviously a lot of money in baseball at the Major League level, we are talking about college sports. The budget of the vast majority of college baseball teams is very small outside of some schools in AZ, FL, Tx and CA. It is a tiny blip on the athletic dept radar compared to basketball or football. Do you think they ever have to do fundraisers to pay for new equpiment or travel expenses? Who do you think gets all the best times for the weight room or the training staff. Who do you think alumni/boosters shower with swag? Not the baseball team. We drove beatup pickup trucks and 10 year old Honda civics while lots of FB & Bskt players magically had brand new SUVs with dealer plates. This is a solid D1 program with a couple CWS appearaces not some tiny D3 school. I am perfectly happy with my experience. I was not raised to feel I should be treated better than someone else just because I could catch a football or hit a baseball. It is just a game, not something important like a doctor or firefighter. In fact, I always felt I should be working harder than any other student as the university was giving me a free education. Being thankful and humble are not traits I have ever found to be common among college FB or Bskt players.

  21. Rick in California says:

    Uninformed, afraid to take on a topic of real importance (jobs, economy, crime, etc.) politician proposing all vitamins and supplements be banned in …1, 2, 3…

  22. Consultofactus says:

    Oh – so the supplements made them sick…the original diagnosis was that they were Bears’ fans suffering an adverse reaction from the NFC title game….at least now they have hope for recovery!

  23. EJ says:

    Why don’t some of you people read up on Chris Doyle, Iowa’s strength and conditioning coach. He would never put his players in a bad situation and the football coaches can’t even be a part of these workouts.

    Also, Ferentz’ son is the starting center for this team and his older son played before this child.

    Do you think the coach would endanger his own kids? If so you obviously know NOTHING about the man.

    1. scott says:

      Doyle is regarded as one of the best in the business. The workout that was completed has been done multiple times in the past. Not only is Freentz son playing now, but his older son has already played and graduated at Iowa. There may be corruption and coverups at many NCAA schools but Iowa has long been regarded as ethical and knows for doing things the right way.

  24. amber says:

    Anyone who actually wants to be more informed about Rhabdo check out the article in this link..


  25. Hank Warren says:

    Useless school employees looking the other way, yet another violation of our rights. Add it to the list of gov’t violations of our right:
    They violate the 1st Amendment by placing protesters in cages, banning books like “America Deceived II” and censoring the internet.
    They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns.
    They violate the 4th and 5th Amendment by molesting airline passengers.
    They violate the entire Constitution by starting undeclared wars for foreign countries.
    Impeach Obama and sweep out the Congress, except Ron Paul.
    (Last link of Banned Book):

    1. adam says:

      ??? I think this comment belongs somewhere else….

  26. John says:

    There is creatine in all red meat, maybe the government should ban that too. Hurry up Obama you wouldn’t want to let a crisis go to waste, there are more freedoms to take away!!

    If I had to guess I would say that this is all Bush’s fault.

  27. Me says:

    Natural? So is mercury, yummy.
    That program has been shady for years. Karma time.

    1. adam says:

      Whats been shady about it?? Any examples??

  28. Bill The Cat says:

    Supplements are not natural. They have all been processed in some way — usually with either heat or chemicals (including alcohol).

    Do do people take this poison rather than eating the natural source product? Nature provides and supplement makers take the natural products, process them, concentrate them to unnatural levels and sell them for billions of dolllars of profits because their marketing hype makes them sound beneficial.

    They are bad folks!

    1. Rick in California says:

      Yes it is a big industry but to call them ‘bad.’ I believe is not entirely true. There are plenty of university and research studies that counter your claim. Believe what you want to believe but they are not all “bad folks”

      1. LibertyGeek says:

        Bill The Cat-
        Hey, get a clue. In order to get the amount of protein necessary to provide muscle growth I’d have to eat 12 chicken breasts.

        Why don’t you do some research before you open your mouth? If you had a clue you’d understand that ANYTHING not used as directed is dangerous.

        Do you drink soft drinks? Drinking them is appropriate use while direct injection into the bloodstream is not. Do we blame the soft drink for the moron? No. It’s called personal responsibility. If you’re going to use a product it’s YOUR responsibility to research proper use and use it safely.

    2. Retired GI says:

      I’ve been taking some form of “supplements” since 1975. I have consumed protein bars, creatine, protein powders, aminos and others. My BP is 120 over 75. I bench 300lbs.

      So, you are wrong. They are beneficial..

  29. tw says:

    Creatine is not bad. It has been around for many years. Don’t blame creatine for poor aherence to the directions or common sense. You can die from drinking too much water also. Why don’t we ban that? Makes about as much sense as blaming creatine or any other supplement. I get so tired of uneducated morons ruining good things for the rest of us.

    1. Rick in California says:


  30. Pobody Knows says:

    The supplements are the wrong thing to look at here. Has anyone considered the fact that the workout causing this condition was VERY HIGH volume? 240 lb back squats for 100 reps, timed, is extreme, even for the NFL. Also, if one considers that these are college guys back in school for one to two weeks now, the odds are high that they aren’t adequately rested (due to going out with friends after the time off), they might be hung over at times, and they might not have worked out hard over the break. Nutrition could be a factor too.

    This is week eight workout programming. Not week two. God forbid somebody actually blames the person who deserves it – the Strength and Conditioning coach.

    1. Scott says:

      They were doing 50% max 100X combined with sled runs. They have done this workout many other years. There were approx. 110 players who completed the workout. Coach Doyle is one of the best in the business. The players are responsible for making sure they come to workouts (especially at this time of year) in the same shape they left off at at the end of Dec. Dehydration, being hungover, and lack of activity during the month off all most likely contributed. Maybe some personal responsibility by the players would have prevented this

      1. Pobody Knows says:

        Yeah, I said all of that. Thanks for your original contribution. It was 100 reps in 30 minutes – it’s high volume whether you like it or not. Don’t blame the damn creatine for the irresponsible behavior in this situation.

        50% of 1 RM is subjective and varies from person to person. I highly doubt that a 185 lb wide receiver can squat 500 lbs, but I would bet that the nose guard can do so. For reference, I have done strength training for a few years.

  31. Earl_Lick_O'Malley says:

    The healthcare establishment lost its credibility and competence 50 yrs ago when it got into bed with federal tax dollars. Doctors should be sued “at every turn”, the infirmed should seek alternative sources for Big Pharma’s deadly Soma and of course State should simply be de-funded, non-voted and nullified. Have a nice day!

  32. Some Guy says:

    And cue the fat housewives screaming to ban everything, FOR THE CHILDREN!

    (Just once I’d like to see reporters get all bent out of shape about how many overweight broads were brought down by stuffing their maws with Oreos for 20 years.)

  33. NavyBuckeye says:

    Yep rush to blame supplements. It’s media’s way. I like how the write a whole story about that topic and even have a “professional” claim they are bad, a “professional” who is from Powered By Me, a group whose whole function is to deter supplementation and also illegal performance enhancers. I’m sure his quote is completely unbiased.

    check them out: http://www.poweredbymemd.com/?page=news

  34. GuyRichie says:

    “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.”

    Come again? Since when is a leap of faith statement considers expert opinion? The author’s editor should be ashamed of including this quote.

  35. crystal says:

    I doubt this is related to supplement abuse, supplements as in vitamin/mineral supplements. It is more likely due to intensity of a workout regimen. Did you notice the writer of the article immediately wanted to blame supplements before they even knew whether or not supplements were involved. THIS IS STUPIDITY at its finest. Go to wikipedia and see the causes of rapid muscle breakdown known as rhabdomyolysis. The subtext of the message here is supplements are bad and the government needs to regulate them. THIS IS TOTAL BULL$@%^.


  36. Father&coach says:

    These are college athletes I would suspect if they were taking anything they were doing it on their own, since it was a small group and not the entire team.
    That being said young men sometimes feel if a little helps a lot will help more.

  37. Journalism? says:

    Quotes from the story:

    ” Yet the manner and number that became ill is raising concerns about supplements.”

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


  38. Jake says:

    Its not supplements it was the work out. 100 BW squats against a clock, which would be about 220 pounds on average for a college ball player. If you did not work up to that then it very well could throw you into Rhabdo. Its more common now with the spread of crossfit.

  39. UG says:

    The football coaches I knew in high school and college were swine so I did track & field. Forced exercise to the point of physical collapse is not training or conditioning, it is not benefiting the strength or endurance of the player, it is breaking down muscle.

  40. Jeff says:

    “It’s unclear whether the football players were actually taking supplements.”

    At the end of the story blaming supplements….really? How about determining that before laying blame. Poor reporting.

    As others have said, rhabdo is normally associated with overtraining in athletes – not supplements.

  41. KipNoxzema says:

    So we’re left with nothing but allegations; no proof of anything, not even symptoms from any known supplements.

    What kind of hack reporting is this?

  42. dana says:

    STEROIDS, grrrrr~ now they will grow boobs next and talk like women, or is it women talk like men. football is dumb.

    It’s obvious the Iowa coaches and trainers lack knowledge in human physiology and basic workout techniques. It’s common sense stuff. Don’t lift max weight the first day you begin training. And if you’re dumb enough to do that (or make your players do that), don’t have them work out hard the very next day. Their atrophied muscles need time to build up to strenous one-rep-max heavy lifting days, as well as recovery time afterward.

    What horrible coaches and trainers. Their blatant lack of physiological and athletic knowledge is astounding. Good job Iowa.

    1. EJ says:

      Dana, you obviously have no idea what you are talking about when it comes to Iowa football. Your statements here prove your ignorance way beyond a shadow of a doubt.

      Do a little research in to Chris Doyle or Kirk Ferentz before you start making such uninformed tripe public.

  43. Jeff says:

    Let’s see…they all got sick after working out. Obviously logic dictates that they ban workouts. Workouts are a blatant method of perfomance enhancement and thus flies in the face of the “Spirit of Sportsmanship”.Problem solved….next!(BTW,that was” sarcasm”. Look it up)

  44. Mike says:

    Coaches cannot give the athletes suppliments that are not approved by the NCAA. They all were tested for drugs and came back clean. They were not doing any training that had not been done in years past (100 squats). This is something the entire team does and why 13 have come down with is a mystery. There are articles out now from past athletes that have done this and talk about it. Until all test come back I would stop speculating.

  45. Kudoz says:

    “Biff”? What kind of name is “Biff”? Is that a real name or a joke?

  46. Abelard Lindsey says:

    Rhabdomyolisis is a side effect of statin drugs. It is likely this is a result of statins that these players received from the same doctor who would have prescribed them their steroids. It is well-known that athletes and body builders have higher levels of cholesterol, yet are perfectly healthy. The reigning ideology in medicine does not recognize this exception and assumes that elevated cholesterol is bad for ALL people, regardless of athleticism and muscular build. So, it is likely some celver doctor prescribed statins to these football players, which resulting in them getting Rhamdommyolisis.

    This same thing happened to a group of football players in Oregon during the pre-season in late August.

  47. val says:

    Was Charlie Sheen in Iowa recently?

  48. mlon says:

    It’s only a matter of time some congress person or senator is going to create some type of legislation against supplements. Normally the cause of these type of incidents are caused by not following direction. Typically they have the more is better attitude and take over the recommended dosages. As a consequence everyone else will have to suffer from someones foolishness.

  49. Bobalicious says:

    Sounds like they were doing a CROSSFIT wod. On the main Crossfit website they talk about people suffering from that illness if they are new to it and are doing the workouts too gung-ho…

    1. Jake says:

      Agree, even if it was at 50% bw load 100 reps is a big amount for coming back from down time. Classic crossfit.com where destroying the body is considered “hardcore” rather than tranditional strength training.

  50. Allan Paige says:

    Joe Schmoe SAID,

    When have pharmas ever gotten a pass? The answer is every year 100,000+ die every year from properly prescribed drugs.

    “More than 120,000 people die from adverse effects of prescribed medications each year. (Starfield 2000) However, last year a new study, based on the results of a ten-year survey of government statistics, came up with even more dismal figures. (Null, et al, 2003) That study concludes that iatrogenic illness is actually the LEADING cause of death in the United States and that adverse reactions to prescription drugs are responsible for more than 300,000 deaths each year.” (The Biology of Belief, By Bruce H. Lipton) Hey Mr Schmo Pharma
    Have you seen that on the 6 o’clock news? Google it! Headline should read, PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES KILL 300,000 EVERY YEAR! Hey Drudge, when will we see that headline?

  51. Big Al says:

    They are obviously hopped up on something in Iowa City. How else could they have beaten MSU this year?

  52. john says:

    Of course it’s supplements. The initial reports of “over-exertion” were ridiculous for the number of athletes that got sick. One maybe, but 13?!

    Anyone who’s been a college athlete has been worked to there physical limits without sustaining organ damage. It’s drugs. Who knows if they were illegal, or tainted, or spiked in the Gatorade, but it’s drugs.

  53. Joseph says:

    If you follow the directions and keep yourself hydrated these things do NOT happen. Creatine is always pinned and yet I know dozens of people who take it daily and work out intensely and NEVER have problems. Odds are the coaches were not making sure the players stayed hydrated and that caused the bad reaction. I have actually been on practice fields and witnessed coaches berating players for needing water in the name of conditioning. Also my understanding is that creatine is banned in college anyway. Maybe I’m wrong on that one!

  54. XPIOLT says:

    Codex Alimentarius Google it. Its part of the Food Safety Bill that our corrupt government passed. They can’t implement it until they demonize supplements and vitamins. I have been taking supplements and vitamins my whole life and have never had a bad reaction and I sure don’t need Big Pharma or Big Brother or even Big Sister telling me what I can do or not do in the land of the free. Watch for more of these instances, false flags.

  55. Big Government says:

    It was supplements!!!! I said so and my lap dogs are falling in line to tell you so. I don’t care if the facts don’t align (or are twisted to meet what I want you to think). It was the supplements and now I must control those too. I will force legislation, take control and only allow certified drug companies to go through the FDA…Ha, Ha, Ha, my pockets get fatter, the FDA will need more money, the drug companies get more money and I get to take your freedom as well as your hard earned cash to pay for this…LOL!!!

  56. Hawk Eye says:

    It was a SEC hit job. Rumor has surfaced that Iowa has started early preparation to get back to either the Capital One or Outback Bowl so they can pound another SEC team.

  57. bill3b23 says:

    As a personal trainer and having a masters degree in health, it is sad to see supplements blamed so easily. First of all, the doctor states how harmful supplements could be, but the article then states its not know if the athletes were on them. Secondly, mainstream supplements such as protein powders and creatine would not still be on the market after a couple decades if they were not safe and effective. I do know, especially after playing college baseball and training in the offseason with professional players, regular food cannot provide everything these players need; mostly because they can’t eat the amount of food to provide the nutrients.
    The only differences between a steak or protein powder is the powder has less fat, fewer calories and digests quicker. Creatine is currently being studied in Alzheimer’s patients and has shown promise in maintaining/increasing brain function and memory. And why is the coach catching heat for this? He doesn’t know what his players take. His job is to coach and educate, not know every aspect of their lives. And were all the playes taking the exact same supplements and dosages as each other? I doubt it.
    Its sad to see supplemen Its being blamed by people on here and blasted in the media by poor reporting such as this. People who do this typically have no information regarding FACTS about supplements. Like the baseball pitcher who died in 2003 I believe. Ephedra was completely to blame. However, most media failed to mention he had suffered heat stroke twice previously, suffered hypertension, had not eaten solid food in 3 days, and was working out in warm/humid weather with a sweat jacket on to lose weight. Oh, and taking more than the recommended amount plus coffee. But, it was of course, the ephedra that did it. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT, OR DON’T COMMENT!

  58. bill3b23 says:

    As a personal trainer and having a masters degree in health, it is sad to see supplements blamed so easily. First of all, the doctor states how harmful supplements could be, but the article then states its not know if the athletes were on them. Secondly, mainstream supplements such as protein powders and creatine would not still be on the market after a couple decades if they were not safe and effective. I do know, especially after playing college baseball and training in the offseason with professional players, regular food cannot provide everything these players need; mostly because they can’t eat the amount of food to provide the nutrients.
    The only differences between a steak or protein powder is the powder has less fat, fewer calories and digests quicker. Creatine is currently being studied in Alzheimer’s patients and has shown promise in maintaining/increasing brain function and memory. And why is the coach catching heat for this? He doesn’t know what his players take. His job is to coach and educate, not know every aspect of their lives. And were all the playes taking the exact same supplements and dosages as each other? I doubt it.
    Its sad to see supplemen Its being blamed by people on here and blasted in the media by poor reporting such as this. People who do this typically have no information regarding FACTS about supplements. Like the baseball pitcher who died in 2003 I believe. Ephedra was completely to blame. However, most media failed to mention he had suffered heat stroke twice previously, suffered hypertension, had not eaten solid food in 3 days, and was working out in warm/humid weather with a sweat jacket on to lose weight. Oh, and taking more than the recommended amount plus coffee. But, it was of course, the ephedra that did it. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT, OR DON’T COMMENT!

  59. Libby says:

    It’s Bush’s fault!!

  60. harold says:

    You don’t even know if the players were taking supplements and you have a an expert say this supplement is dangerous. Are you crazy? This is another article that shows the inabiltiy of media to write the facts. It is the same thing that happened with Congresswoman Gifford and the rush to judgement about the motives of the shooter. People are gong to stop reading articles like this. Wait until you have facts before going off o tangents about supplements.Bad journalism,.

  61. Tom says:

    army rangers, special forces, and navy seals train MUCH harder and are mentally & physically pushed much further than these kids will ever endure, and they don’t get rhabdomyolysis. when 13 kids come down with rhabdomyolysis all at once, and they’re all on the same football team, it’s about 99.999% certain the rhabdomyolysis is chemically induced. 2 substances strength-trained athletes frequently abuse are anabolic steroids and creatine, both of which can cause rhabdomyolysis and other problems. in general, if the kids are benching 100-150+ lbs over their bodyweight for reps, they’re on steroids. if they’re benching bodyweight or bodyweight + 50 lbs, they’re probably abusing creatine. a urine test for exogenous testosterone would clear everything right up

    1. bill3b23 says:

      Tom you obviously do not a degree in any health or exercise related field, or follow all news that well. First, it has been found members of armed forces do take illegal drugs because their training and real life experiences are too demanding. Second, there isn’t any connection between supplements, steroids and weight lifted. As a junior in high school I could bench press 100lbs more than my body weight without even taking supplements. Next, I currently deadlift 120 pounds over my body weight, no steroids. Football players will be strong on lifts because of all the contact and psuhing and pulling done in practice. Last, I have trained with steroid users and been stronger in some lifts than them. Oh, and as I stated earlier, even if they did take supps, did they all take the same ones and the same dosages? Please leave personal beliefs without facts out of arguments. = anticipate your reply as I love debates such as these.

    2. Jake says:

      Do an experiment, take 10 people have them load up a barbell and back squat it 100 times without rest trying to beat a clock and everyone else present and see what happens. You will have a group of people laying on their backs in a pool of sweat. Smart training?

    3. REALLY?? says:

      There are tons of people with stats similar to the ones you stated that aren’t taking any supplements. You can’t generalize an entire population based on the outcome of a few. I’m 6’5″, 340 lbs…I can bench 440, deadlift 650, and squat 575 (with no suits or shirts, straps, or even a belt)…and I can’t even remember to take my multi-vitamin everyday. Accusing me of taking steroids is the same as discrediting years of hard work and time in the gym. Do you take a multivitamin? It’s nothing more than conveniently packaged, CONCENTRATED vitamins and minerals. A quick Google search will tell you what too much of any vitamin will do. Creatine Monohydrate is no different. Rather than eating 27 pounds of red meat a day, you can throw a couple scoops of creatine in your favorite drink and go on about your day.

      The ignorance in some of these comments is appalling at best.

  62. Tom says:

    And by the way. Where is Obama’s birth certificate?

  63. Saverio says:

    So, there’s ZERO evidence that supplements are even partly responsible, but this is already being blamed on them.

    How stupid is that?

  64. Dave M says:

    Similar incident happened to 10 highschoolers in Oregon back in August. It is stange that this has happened now twice in a matter of months. The workout in Iowa was intense. The Gilman kid said he did 100 squats of 240lbs and pulled a weighted sled 100 yards. The Iowa position is that this was a normal workout . Hopefully we’ll get a full investigation and the results can be determined.

  65. Bob says:

    Wow, the fact that these journalists are somehow making assumptions about supplements causing Rhabdo are insane. It is actually not all that difficult to experience exercise induced Rhabdo, ESPECIALLY in trained athletes who possess the capability to push their bodies beyond what is in fact not healthy. Many intense cross-training workout such as those prepared by CrossFit, can and will push individuals to the point of Rhabdo if they are not aware of the conditions they are putting their body into and unfamiliar with the new exercises. This is simply a case of slightly out-of-football shape players who have likely been a) drinking too much (causing dehydration) b) eating poorly (again not fueling the body correctly) and c) being put into a new and higher intensity routine too quickly. The blame is partially on the coaches and partially on the players for not being prepared and recognizing the signs that something is wrong earlier. Again, I would not want to make an assumption as the journalists did in speculating that supplements were somehow caused the conditions experience, but to think that a supplement would cause an athlete to experience symptoms of an overexertion disorder is ignorant.

  66. Dusty says:

    They were probably taking ephedra;-)
    Of course they had cereal for breakfast too.
    Correlation is not causation.

  67. John says:

    Did you just put creatine and steroids on the same level? Wow, you cant be that dumb can you?

  68. John Gay says:

    Your story asks whether the use of creatine or other supplements resulted in student athletes being hospitalized for muscle problems. However, after reading the story, it seems more likely that the training methods are the real culprits.

    Many studies have been done since the early 1990s showing that creatine does not cause dehydration and does not lead to compartment syndrome. If anything, creatine promotes hyperhydration—whole body fluid retention—leading to less thermoregulatory stress during intense exercise.

    In a similar case last year in Portland, Ore., there was a rush to judgment by the media pointing to dietary supplements as a cause, but an investigation, in fact, showed this was not the case. Dr. Katrina Hedberg, lead investigator in that incident, noted that “intense, short-duration, repetitive resistance exercise involving a single muscle compartment can lead to serious health complications.”

    Their report raised “doubts that the players were using a creatine supplement” and said that the Oregon Department of Public Health “did not find patterns suggesting an association with illness from specific prescription medications or nutritional supplements.” Dennis Nice, father of two of the hospitalized players, said that “there were all kinds of different factors, but creatine usage, supplement usage was not one of them.”

    Nothing in your story suggests the Iowa players were using creatine or any other supplements either. There are no quotes or statements from the players or their parents pointing to supplements as a cause. Only one “expert” in the story suggests that supplements are “dangerous.” Your story even notes that, “It’s unclear whether the football players were actually taking supplements.” So why even include this in the story?

    Meanwhile, according to other media reports, Iowa’s director of football, Paul Federici, says he doesn’t know if players were taking supplements. Richard J. Auchus, an endocrinologist, a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency consultant, and an Iowa fan who did his residency there, believes “coaches were just pushing the team too hard in workouts.”

    According to Federici, the team embarked on “an important and pretty ambitious part of the offseason workout” last week. Iowa players described grueling workouts “that included 100 weight-lifting squat repetitions, while timed.” Auchus says, “It sounds to me like they just pushed the team way too hard and way too soon, they may have gotten them dehydrated.”

    That says it all.

    For future stories about dietary supplements and natural products, we at the Natural Products Association would be happy to act as your resource for accurate information about how these products are used. Your audience deserves no less than the full story.

    John Gay
    Executive Director & CEO
    Natural Products Association

  69. jon says:

    Man you people are all morons. It was an extremely rigorous training workout (the topper being 100 squats) AFTER a long holiday break. Before they leave for break, the members of the team are told what to expect when they get back and they can begin working out again under NCAA rules. A player can chose to stay in shape or sit around. Obviously, these players chose to not stay in shape (Poggi’s father says as much in another interview), because other players were not affected. The affected players have been tested for illegal substances and all the tests came up negative. So you all can take your moronic assumptions and snide comments about Iowa and stick them where the sun don’t shine.

  70. John says:

    Test them ASAP for any performance enhancing drugs/supplements. KEEP SPORTS CLEAN

  71. duckandcover says:

    Ban those dangerous natural supplements – like Vitamin C.

    Safe, scientifically tested performance enhancing drugs are the way to go!

  72. barni says:

    the hawkeyes do not represent good Iowa values the players are involved in sex scandles and drugs in the past year and we have a 2 million dollar coach that cant control the supposedly best team athlete’s conduct…….how sad that team used to be a pride of Iowa now its a bunch overpaid imports that don’t represent Iowas high standard…the coach doe not deserve 2 million per year for such an embarrassing performance of conduct

  73. Jim says:

    Iowa has high standards??? since when? they ripped off the federal government by getting subsidy for housing, including the coach’s son, several years ago. They are cheaters, just like the rest of the Big Ten, and they are losers…look how they had to go to turf from grass since their cheerleaders were always caught grazing in the grass at game time…

  74. Hondo says:

    Nonsense. “Supplement are dangerous”??? What supplements?? You don’t mention which supplements. If you are implying all supplements you’re a flat out liar and a fool!

  75. franklin808 says:

    Who cares about college football? Watch DA BEARS!!

  76. jake says:

    First of all, if a person can not spell a word right, never listen to them. Also, why do people care what others put in their body? It is their body and they can do what they want. Right liberals? Doesn’t really matter anyway since we will all have obamacare. He will take care of it all.

  77. donald crow says:

    This comment is for mike, who thinks all supplements should be taken off the market..Go back to china..or north korea where you live..Okay, lets take it off the market, but lets start with tobacco and alcohol..they kill far more people than any roids or bodybuilding products..I am somewhat of a bodybuilder, and the supplements i have taken, well its a long list..their perfectly healthy for you..but after i take it, im not doin some intense physical exercise either..or playing football..if you take a creatine based product, drink plenty water,,it says that on the label.. Its time we start taking responsibility for our action, and stop blaming others for our stupidity..

  78. WhaiSoSerious? says:

    This entire article and the comments made me lol.

  79. Tom says:

    This is total bull! He doesnt know if supplements work, or how they work, but he does know they’re dangerous. He knows nothing except his OPINION. Under normal conditions, most are good and help. Know all the facts before you give your opinion. BTW, I’ve been using supps and personal training for many years and have never known anyone to have issues unless they take way more than recommended.

  80. S Bhatt says:

    I can’t stand garbage journalism like this. When they admit that they are unclear whether or not any of the affected players took any sort of supplements, why in God’s name does the article speculate about supplements being the culprit? Clearly somebody has an agenda.

  81. Right On! says:

    Coaches and Players should have trained with Kool ‘N Fit…like the pro’s.~ Hydration would have been a plus as well!

  82. rrttyyhjhj says:

    this happened a few months ago at another school as well

  83. the_last_horrah says:

    Seems the athletes used supplements with inadequate hydration. Many sports coaches in schools don’t allow proper amounts of water for the players. They drive the students into the ground. Don’t blame the supplements, blame the coach.

  84. lcky9 says:

    lets see they didn’t drink enough water so it’s the supplements???? HOW about it’s the fault of the coaches for NOT making sure they drank enough???

  85. Emery says:

    Wow. There a lot of really stupid comments here. And some very good ones as well. 100,000 die every year from drug complications. Who is the real danger to society? Big Pharma is……. there their Gestapo lackeys in the FDA.

  86. Dean says:

    79 yrs young…..I NEVER take Pharma prescriptions….Good food/water, exercise and supplements will get you to 100 easy! How many die from prescriptions vs. supplements? Case closed.

  87. Fred says:

    Oh I gotta comment on this. First off I have been in the supplement Industry 30 years. NEVER have I seen any thing like this occur except in Shawadanki where the chinese made a bad batch of some junk amino acid. Second, ALL Natural product manufacturers must use GMP certified facilities mandated by the FDA and let me tell you if your in the Industry you know what quality is and isnt. I have sold over 10,000 different products over the years and listen to customers… they will tell you straight up what works. Most products are all tested for quality and many companies have been around for years. Many Athelets shoot steroids or use what I call extreme supplements, like Dean was saying Food, water and supplements like essential amino acids are critical for muscle repair and development. I’ll agree Drugs are the Number 1 Killer in the USA plus hundreds of thousands of interactions go unreported yearly. Food would be number 2 Killer as it is causing all the other cardiovascular issues etc.

  88. Fred says:

    Also side note. The body requires specific nutrients to function and in the case of muscle repair, Water, Protein, Amino Acids and dozens of other “Nutrients” Extracted from food when it is digested. Thats the first thing that we as a civilized nation should consider.. Nutrition.. but sadly it is last. Food is not food anymore people. It’s a toxic dead food full of synthetic substances that cause illness and disease. It kills me to see people buying into the cereal that contains all daily vitamins, or think they can consume sodas, fast food or pre packaged food with tons of persertaves in it. Dead food Kills.

  89. Brian Ballard says:

    THeir condition is a well known side effect of exercising too intensely. So let’s throw some stuff out there about how it “might be supplement related.” Even though it’s not known if they even took ANY supplements at all. Brilliant. Even if the supplement mentioned, creatine, has nothing to do with breaking down muscle and is used by millions of people with no deleterious effects whatsoever. It’s agenda driven reporting, either that or it’s reporting by idiots.

    And creating isn’t made by “big pharma”, you idiots. And it wasn’t “approved by the fda”. It’s a natural substance, like vitamin c. Doesn’t mean it’s not harmful, but thousands of studies would indicate that it isn’t.

  90. TW says:

    Hey!!! Nobody has stated that this happened in hot weather . I think it was Sept. or maybe August which would be pre-season, when you have your most intense work outs. How many are on the Iowa football team a lot of colleges have 90 or more. 13 were affected? Seems that there should be more. Yes, I know teams are broken down into J.V.’s etc.

  91. Mike Hu says:

    It’s a regular and predictable result of “High Intensity Training,” which is a current fad in exercise, of which some of its early proponents even died at an early age — just as Jim Fixx did promoting the then popular aerobics and running regimen, thinking unlimited amounts of those activities made one immune from all harm.

    Before that isometrics was touted as the miracle fad — until people started blacking out and suffering from high blood pressure. Before that, the popular conditioning activity was strenuous exercise while depriving athletes of water would make them stronger — if it didn’t kill them. Some will use all of these once popular tactics together as though that was The Next Big Thing.

    You can’t work out intensely for more than 5 minutes, or even one — because it is like running the 100 yard dash for a mile. Even cheetahs don’t do it; if they figure they can’t catch their prey in a quarter of a mile, they stop — and running all-out that way every time, doesn’t enable them to run any longer the next time.

    So you have all these exercise physiologists (PE teachers) who have no idea what they are talking about and wouldn’t know how to design a valid exercise study, and then these bogus businesses selling certificates that certify nothing else except that these people paid their $500 and presented proof that they had previously obtained First Aid and CPR certificates thinking that whatever they prescribe is what people ought to do — because they say so.

    A lot of self-trained bodybuilders particularly, as well as many other athletes overtrain in this manner, but wait until they recover sufficiently, or burn out shortly, which is why most of them don’t sustain that kind of training for long, let alone for a lifetime. If one can achieve intensity (an all-out effort) it takes very little, to totally exhaust the body, while NOT achieving any intensity (full muscle contraction), can be sustained indefinitely without any desirable results and effects.

    The secret is that if one can obtain a maximum effort, more is not necessary, and if one can’t all the suboptimal efforts won’t make one capable of a single supreme effort, and knowing this, and learning this, is the major objective to any conditioning (learning) program — and not being totally oblivious to what is happening.

  92. gary says:

    Sounds like rubbish to me , how is it that they have been using these supplements for so long but ll of a sudden this happens now but never before ,Something fishy going on here like a clampdown on supplements of think driven by GMO food scam.

  93. Nick Lewis says:

    ask this uestion clearly. did the supplement contain caffienem

  94. Bill Z says:

    I once used a supplement made by EAS that had creatine and taurine in it for a while when I was working out. Then I climbed Mt. St. Helens and my body completely shut down. I was flown off the Mt. to a hospital with very bad muscle damage, black urine, kidney problems & my liver was in bad shape. I spent 7 days in hospital i couldn’t walk for 4 days. It happened again about 7 months later before I figured it out. The D-10 IV works the best for a speedy recovery.

  95. Vinny says:

    This has almost zero to do with supplements. Rhabdomyolisis is being seen more now due to imprpper training. Programs like P90X and Crossfit are responsible for many rhabdomyolisis cases in the ER now. The military is rampent with these cases. The solution is to learn how to work-out properly, recover properly, and good nutrition. It’s my opinion that 95% of people , including trainers, have lost sight of some very basic principles. If you take HGH and steroids out of the picture, most would have no gains at all as they simply do not know how to train properly.

  96. Hpollowell says:

    My 8 year old son was hospitalized for rhabdomyalysis. It was ultimately a virus.

    Are they jumping to conlusions here?

  97. Cynic says:

    There has been an association observed between rhabdomyolisis and pomegranate juice consumption, especially where statins or some other medications are also being taken. In some cases pomegranate juice seems to have brought on rhabdomyolisis very swiftly ( 2 or 3 weeks after drinking it began).

    Health lesson in the story: Be cautious about health food/drink/supplement fads.

  98. NBC Vic Hern says:

    Musings from an old Pharmacist………..
    To much protein, amino acids in the blood will tend to plug up
    and slow down kidney function.
    If muscle tissue is breaking down too quickly causing pain, the
    tendency is to reach for the NSAIDS ibuprofen and naproxen more
    often. Taking therapeutic doses of NSAIDS will also slow down the
    kidneys. The combination can easily lead to dangerous kidney shut down.
    Be careful when you supplement and work out too hard and too often.

    1. NBC Vic Hern says:

      Musings continued……….
      If indeed statins are introduced to this scenario, major
      problems are predictable.

  99. Chris says:

    It’s Bushes fault!

  100. Chris says:

    Now mertosexual and female legislators will ban what common supplements were used by the boys. Another example of what is wrong with the USA.

  101. Bill Sorenson says:


    According to the MAYO clinic there is a correlative possible. Read what REAL experts say and then decide.

    1. bill3b23 says:

      Bill, perhaps if you read everythign posted, they also suggest possible benefits for memory loss, heart surgery, etc. As with all substances, there are risks, which they outline. The same risks can be said for any nutrient. Just as an example, the Mayo Clinic website lists dangers from Vitamin D toxicity. Does this mean it should not be taken either? Effects all depend on does, as well as individual tolerances. As somebody else posted, water has caused death. It happened at a Marathon within the last few years that somebody was over hydrated, which caused levels of electrolytes too low for proper function, leading to death. You are just as bad as all the other people on here that present one sided theories without having any ACTUAL knowledge. When you study health, physiology, or even pick up a decent research journal, come back and comment.

  102. Htos1 says:

    Doesn’t matter,brain dead pols are going to come in and make things much worse,it’s what they do(with a little help from displaced commie friends post 1991)

  103. famca says:

    A memo to the “creatine is safe” crowd. Tryptophan is a natural substance that was marketed as a mood relaxer and sleep inducing agent some years ago. It was supposed to be safe, and thousands of people were said to be users. Then a few people died, and tryptophan was taken off the market.

    People back then said typtophan was safe in spite of the deaths – basically the same thing they’re saying about creatine now. But go ahead and keep taking it. Or selling it, if that’s what you’re doing.

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