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Pills Thrown Away Before Bechler's Death


MIAMI (AP) _ Baltimore pitching prospect Matt Riley threw away pills containing the stimulant ephedrine as paramedics treated pitcher Steve Bechler before his death.

Riley said he saw the bottle of Xenadrine on a table as Bechler was being treated for heat stroke in the training room, and threw it away because he was upset about his friend's condition. The bottle was later retrieved and taken to the medical examiner.

``I told them I threw it away because I was just upset and I wasn't thinking when I tossed it,'' Riley told The Miami Herald. ``When I walked in and saw Steve on the table, the last thing I thought was he was going to die.

``When he died, me throwing the bottle away just complicated everything and messed everything up. I didn't think of the consequences at the time, I just hated seeing that bottle there.''

Riley and Orioles outfielder Larry Bigbie visited Broward County medical examiner Dr. Joshua Perper on Wednesday to discuss the death of their friend and roommate.

Bechler died Monday of multiple organ failure after failing to complete a workout the day before at the Orioles' spring training complex in Fort Lauderdale. Perper said Tuesday that a weight-loss drug containing ephedrine probably contributed to Bechler's death.

Ephedra is banned by the NFL, NCAA and International Olympic Committee, but not by major league baseball. The Food and Drug Administration has reports of at least 100 deaths linked to the supplement, which is used in weight loss programs.
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