Cushing’s attorney says client had existing gland issue

Brian Cushing’s camp is fighting to maintain the linebacker’s innocence. Now his attorney is stating that Cushing’s positive drug test came from an enlarged pituitary gland and a surgical procedure he had while at USC.

From the Houston Chronicle:

Steinberg was brought in by Condon after Cushing learned in October he had failed the first test taken in September. Steinberg explained the process.

“For every test, there are two samples taken — ‘A’ bottle and ‘B’ bottle,” Steinberg said. “If ‘A’ bottle tests positive, then ‘B’ bottle is tested by a separate lab.

“The ‘A’ bottle was barely over the discernible and legal limit pursuant to the policy. The ‘B’ bottle got tested, and we were notified it was below the limit. As a result, it was deemed to be a negative test.”

Then Cushing submitted to another test several weeks later, according to Steinberg. Both samples came back positive.

“When we inquired about the level (of the new ‘A’ bottle), we were told it was about the same as the original ‘A’ bottle, the first test,” Steinberg said. “We were operating under the premise that we may well get a negative ‘B’ bottle, which would render this test negative as well. When that ‘B’ bottle came back positive, then it became a positive test.”

The article goes on to note that two NFL experts disagreed on whether or not males can naturally produce hCG in their bodies. One expert said no, the other said yes. So now Cushing’s camp can pit the two experts against each other. As Cushing’s lawyer said, if the two NFL experts are in disagreement, how can the NFL hold up the linebacker’s suspension?

That said, keep in mind that this is coming from Cushing’s lawyer, who is paid to build a defense for his client. We’ll just have to wait and see what other reports are released, because it’s clear that this story isn’t dying. I will say this: if Cushing is innocent, he’s going all out to prove it, which is what somebody should do if they’ve been wrongly accused.

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Cushing: “I haven’t done anything wrong.”

Suspended linebacker Brian Cushing claims that while his positive drug test was for the substance hCG, he never injected or ingested it.

So how did it get into his system?

From the Houston Chronicle:

“I was tested in September, and I found out in October I had tested positive,” he said. “I played the rest of the season thinking I had tumors.”


Cushing said he didn’t inject or ingest the hCG that he tested positive for. He said he was unfamiliar with hCG until he tested positive for it, and when he sought advice from doctors, he was told the only way it could have gotten into a system is through injection or by having a tumor.

“I tested positive for such a small amount it can’t be performance enhancing,” Cushing said during a press conference at Reliant Stadium. “I’ve got to get medical help to find out why it happened and to keep it from happening again. I’m not going to change my workout regime or anything I do because I know I haven’t done anything wrong.”

I can’t imagine that this kid played an entire season thinking he had tumors and the Texans didn’t do anything about it. So either he’s lying about how the hCG got in his system or the Texans are the most irresponsible franchise in the history of football.

While you’re chewing on that, here’s an interesting tidbit from AOL on Cushing’s potential steroid problem:

One NFL general manager, requesting anonymity, offered this scorching view: “We did our research on him before the draft last year and we concluded he was a chronic steroid user dating back to high school. More than a few people were surprised when he passed the steroid tests at the combine. I think the guy became a pro at masking it, until he was caught. I definitely would have taken my vote back on that award if I had one.”

There may not have been a more privately and publicly rumored steroid user than Cushing before any NFL Draft.

Granted, there was never been proof before this positive test that Cushing was a steroid user. But while I should probably just leave it at that and move on, I must say: If it walks, talks and acts like a duck, the freaking thing is probably a duck.

We’ll see. Maybe more will be uncovered, or maybe this story will die now that he’s made a public statement. But if he is lying, rest assured somebody will find out.

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Should Cushing be stripped of his ROY award?

Brian Cushing claims that it wasn’t steroids that caused him to fail a positive drug test last September. He’s not saying what it was exactly and unless he confesses, we may never know the real reason why he was suspended for four games next season.

But either way, he did take something and whatever it was, it may cause him to lose his 2009 Defensive Rookie of the Year Award according to AP advisor Dave Goldberg.

Per Goldberg, the AP may hold a re-vote for the award in light of Cushing’s failed drug test. If there is a re-vote and Cushing loses, then Bills’ safety Jarius Byrd would likely be given the trophy seeing as how he finished second in the voting last year.

But would that be fair? What if Cushing accidentally took a supplement that contained something that was banned by the NFL? In other words, what if it wasn’t steroids? Have you ever seen the list of substances that are banned by the league? Players can’t even take cough medicine without having it approved by a team doctor or trainer. So while we can speculate all we want about what Cushing took, there’s a possibility that he will lose his ROY award (not to mention incentives based on rookie-year accomplishments) over something minor.

That said, if he was suspended for steroids, then there’s a strong argument to be made that he should lose the award. After all, if he knew back in September that he had failed the test and played virtually the entire season knowing that he’d eventually be suspended, then maybe he should be stripped of the award. Some fans want all of the records during baseball’s steroid era to be stricken from the books, so why shouldn’t Cushing lose his award too? Cheating is cheating.

Personally, if Cushing was caught using steroids, then Byrd should be the rightful winner of the award in my eyes. But if Cushing used a supplement that could be bought over the counter by any one of us at GNC, then I’m sorry, but I think the award should stay with him. The league is already punishing him with the four-game suspension, so that should be enough if he was simply careless about checking with a team doctor before using a potentially banned substance. Why take his hard-earned award away too?

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Brian Cushing suspended for steroids

ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that Texans linebacker Brian Cushing, the defending defensive rookie of the year, has been suspended four games for violating the league’s steroid policy.

If this doesn’t seem like surprising news, it’s because Cushing was also suspected of juicing in college, although nothing was ever proven. This is a big blow for an improving Houston defense that will have to face the Colts, Redskins, Cowboys and Raiders without their stud outside ‘backer.

General manager Rick Smith had this to say about Cushing’s suspension (from the Houston Chronicle):

“We were disappointed to learn that Brian has been suspended for the first four games of the 2010 season. Brian is a productive member of our team and this is a significant loss, but we have to be prepared to win without him.”

I wonder if there will be backlash from the fans in light of this news. A baseball player gets caught juicing and he shamed the game; a football player gets caught juicing and once he returns from his suspension, nobody ever talks about the situation again (see Shawne Merriman).

Talk about hypocritical.

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