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Book Says Payton Abused Drugs
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) -- According to a new book, Chicago Bears great Walter Payton abused painkillers in retirement and became suicidal.

In ``Sweetness: The Enigmatic Life of Walter Payton,'' author Jeff Pearlman says the Hall of Fame running back used a cocktail of Tylenol and vicodin in retirement, kept tanks of nitrous oxide in his garage and even obtained Ritalin from a friend whose son was prescribed pills. Pearlman writes that Payton drew the suspicion of pharmacists and a warning from the police after visiting several drugstores to have a dentist's prescription for morphine filled.

Payton's longtime agent Bud Holmes is quoted as saying ``Walter was pounding his body with medication.''

The book goes on sale Oct. 4. An excerpt appears in this week's Sports Illustrated.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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