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ESPN UNDER FIRE FOR AIRING ANDRO ADS

ESPN became the first TV network to run ads for the muscle-building supplement androstenedione, drawing criticism from a high school organization that the commercials send a bad message to students.

The spots, part of a new national advertising campaign by MetRx Engineered Nutrition, first appeared Tuesday afternoon on the show "American Muscle."

The ads for the supplement used by Mark McGwire will also run on Fox Sports Net's "Muscle Sport" and fitness shows on Knowledge TV. "Muscle Sport" is a time buy on Fox Sports Net, meaning the network is not responsible for selling the commercials.

"Messages like this sent through the media are presenting points of conflict in the decision-making process of young people," said Robert Kanaby, the executive director of the National Federation of State High School Associations.

Kanaby said his organization may ask the networks to pull the ads. ESPN is reconsidering the placement of the ads.

"We appreciate the concerns of these organizations and we will review this further," ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys said.

Debate about androstenedione grew last month after the Associated Press reported that McGwire, the St. Louis slugger who broke the home run record, has used the pills for more than a year.

The pill is legal in baseball but banned by the NFL, NCAA and Olympics.

Quisenberry re-enters hospital

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Former Kansas City Royals reliever Dan Quisenberry, who had brain tumors removed this year, was admitted to a hospital Tuesday.

According to his family, the 45-year-old is "resting in God's peace." They asked the public not send cards or flowers, but said they would appreciate prayers.

Quisenberry underwent surgery in January and June to remove grade 4 tumors from his brain. Grade 4 is the most severe of the four grades given to such tumors.

Around the horn

Milwaukee Brewers general manager Sal Bando is disputing a newspaper report saying he's decided to keep manager Phil Garner in 1999. "I have not said that Phil is coming back," Bando said. "I'm not saying it's not true," Bando insisted. "I'm still going to wait until the end of the season."

Jim Leyland is finding it difficult deciding whether to remain as manager of the Florida Marlins in 1999. "You've got the emotion of liking the players so much, and then you've got the emotion of getting your rear kicked so much," he said. Leyland, 53, led the Marlins to the World Series championship last year, but now the team has baseball's worst record.

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