A man who once cheerfully sat atop a terrific medical career - a once respected Pittsburgh Steelers' team physician as well as a doctor for FBI agents - has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for prostituting his position as an MD.
Doctor Richard Rydze, age 68, has been convicted of 180 felonies, including conspiracy to illegally distributing narcotics, anabolic steroids and human growth hormones. He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers-Conti.
"This doctor violated his legal, professional and ethical obligations, He flooded Pennsylvania with dangerous painkillers and prescribed steroids to enrich himself." (Cleveland U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herman)
Rydze, a long-time resident of Pittsburgh, owned and operated a business called the Optimal Health Center in mid-town Pittsburgh. Investigators discovered that from 2005-2011, Rydze had written at least 200 prescriptions for more than 21,000 Vicodin pills, as well as Opana, Oxycodone, Oxymorphone and OxyContin, by illegally using another doctor's medical license number.
Rydze distributed anabolic steroids for unauthorized uses that included bodybuilding and athletic performance enhancement.
Rydze made the 1972 Olympic Team as a diver. He was one of several Steelers' team doctors from 1985-2007.