(Reuters) - San Diego Chargers coach Norv Turner has rejected suggestions any of his players used an illegal substance to help them hold on to the ball in a National Football League game last week.
The NFL said on its official website (NFL.com) that it was “gathering facts” concerning an alleged incident in the October 15 game in San Diego, which the Chargers lost 35-24 after blowing a 24-0 halftime lead.
Turner denied his team had ever used the substance ‘Stickum’ and that the NFL investigation related to a type of towel used by the Chargers.
“Nobody from the San Diego Chargers used Stickum in the game on Monday night against the Denver Broncos,” Turner told reporters on Monday. “Nobody in this organization has used Stickum in any game.”
Stickum, an adhesive used to help improve grip, is widely available in powder, paste and aerosol forms. Its use in the NFL was banned in 1981 under the Lester Hayes rule named after the Raiders player known for using it.
“The question that has been asked by the League involves a towel that has been used by this organization for over 10 years. Its been used by a lot of teams in this league,” Turner added.
“The towel is used to dry the balls, dry the gloves the players wear and their arms. The league is looking into the towel. That’s about where we’re at.”
The Chargers said in a statement they were cooperating fully with the NFL.
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford