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Doctor to plead out in steroid case

A doctor accused of writing illegal steroid prescriptions for players has agreed to plead guilty to one federal conspiracy charge as part of a plea agreement, according to court documents.

Alternative medicine physician James Shortt will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids and human growth hormone. Prosecutors will drop 42 similar counts against the West Columbia doctor, according to papers filed Monday in U.S. District Court.

Shortt faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The indictment didn't specify who received the drugs Shortt prescribed. According to the Associated Press, they were current and former members of the Carolina Panthers, bodybuilders and at least one police officer.

A report last spring on CBS's 60 Minutes Wednesday identified tackle Todd Steussie, now with the Bucs; punter Todd Sauerbrun, now a Bronco; and center Jeff Mitchell and as having filled steroid prescriptions written by Shortt.

ARENA LEAGUE: Storm quarterback Shane Stafford will donate $50 to the Children's Cancer Center for every touchdown he scores during the season. Stafford, who visits the center every Tuesday and every other Thursday (when he is joined by teammate Nyle Wiren), has passed for 14 touchdowns and run for three for a total of $850. The Storm donates about 30 tickets for every home game to the center. In other news, the Feb. 25 game against Austin has been moved from 7:30 to 5 p.m. at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa.

Times staff writer Frank Pastor contributed to this report.

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