By The Associated Press
Two former members of the U.S. junior national cycling team are settlingfederal lawsuits after contending their coaches injected them with steroidswithout their knowledge.Gregory Strock and Erich Kaiter were completing a settlement agreementwith USA Cycling and former coach Rene Wenzel, a lawyer for the riderssaid in a court filing late Wednesday. U.S. District Judge John Kane onThursday gave both sides until Sept. 27 to file papers dismissing the case.Attorney William Senter, who represents the defendants, confirmed thesettlement but said terms were confidential. John Pineau, an attorney forthe cyclists, did not immediately return a call.Strock and Kaiter had said they were given steroid injections whileon the team in 1990 but were told they were receiving vitamins and cortisone.The settlement comes about four months after Kane rejected a defensemotion to dismiss the case. USA Cycling and Wenzel had argued the cyclistswaited too long to file the suit and failed to present enough evidenceto show they had been harmed by the injections.Kane, who consolidated the two lawsuits into a single case, said a juryshould decide whether Strock and Kaiter had waited too long.Kane’s said Strock’s evidence posed problems but was sufficient to sendthe case to a jury. He also said Kaiter had failed to show the injectionscaused his Crohn’s disease, a digestive disorder, but that a jury shoulddetermine whether they caused a lung infection. The parties have been wranglingsince over qualifications of expert witnesses on both sides.Strock and Kaiter contended they had received up to three injectionsa day at the 1990 world championships in England, were told they were gettinga safe and legal mixture of cortisone and vitamins and that they shouldn’tquestion their coaches.Their lawsuits alleged they were given injections and pills at othercompetitions that year, and that health problems related to the injectionsended their elite cycling careers.Strock claimed he began to suspect he had been injected with steroidswhile in medical school in 1998. Kaiter said he began to suspect he hadbeen given steroids after he saw Strock discussing his suspicions in aSeptember 2000 television interview.
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