Toxicology tests show that basketball star Hank Gathers had an ineffective level of a heart medication in his bloodstream, but experts say the results raise as many questions as they answer.

The Los Angeles County Coroner's office said Monday that Gathers, Loyola Marymount's high-scoring center, didn't have enough of the prescription drug Inderal in his system when he died to treat his irregular heartbeat.The Inderal level in Gathers' body when he died March 4 after collapsing during a game was from one-half to one-eleventh of the amount needed to help his heart condition, coroner's spokesman Bob Dambacher said.

However, the coroner's office wouldn't say whether the level of Inderal in Gathers' system indicated if or when he had stopped taking the drug.

"What does this mean?" Dambacher asked. "Was he taking his medication or wasn't he? Did he reduce it himself or did somebody reduce it? Did he have some in him? There's no way of knowing."

Cardiologist Lee Scott Herman agreed that the tests were inconclusive, saying that the low amount of Inderal found in Gathers' body could mean "that the dose he was given was too small and that he was taking it correctly, or that he was on a correct dose but stopped taking it some time before the basketball game when he died."

Another possibility, Herman said, is that Gathers may have taken the correct dose of the drug, but had problems absorbing it through his intestinal tract.

Bruce Fagel, a lawyer for Gathers' family, said the test results prove two things: "Hank was taking his medication and that the dosage was at a sub-therapeutic level, which means it wasn't effective to do the job."

Fagel, who is also a physician, recently said that Gathers had his Inderal dosage reduced from 240 milligrams to 40 milligrams twice a day because the larger amount made him feel sluggish on the court. But Gathers reportedly was still unhappy with the medication, and an unidentified cardiologist told the Los Angeles Times that the player stopped taking the drug shortly before he died.