Brian Cushing Says He Did Not Use A Banned Substance

May 14th, 2010- By Bryan Cross

Just days after learning that the re-vote allowed him to keep the 2009-10 defensive rookie of the year award, Brian Cushing denied that he put a performance-enhancing drug in his body, in spite of the positive test he had.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Cushing for the first four games of the upcoming 2010 NFL season.  Cushing appealed the decision, which was reviewed and denied by the league.

It is now known that Cushing tested positive for a drug called HCG, listed on the NFL’s banned substances.

“The question of how it got into my body is still unclear,” Cushing said. “It’s something that I’m very personally concerned about, just the fact that how it’s there and what’s going to determine it from happening again, and that’s something we’re going to have to medically investigate.”

HCG is a drug that can come up on test for two reasons.  The first is a standard injection with a syringe.  The second way the drug could appear is because of tumors, which caused Cushing to believe that he had them upon learning of this.

“I personally know I’m not injecting myself with anything,” Cushing said. “I played the whole season thinking this could not only be my last season, but my last year.”

Cushing expressed his concern over the positive tests, and will undergo further testing for an explanation as to why the substance is present in his body.

The positive test was taken back in September, with Cushing become aware of it in October.

However, Dr. Gary Wadler, who is among those working for the World Anti-Doping Agency, stated that examples of testicular tumors that are malignant have been known to produce HCG, but it is “extremely rare.”

“If he had a tumor that produced HCG, he wouldn’t be playing football,” Wadler said of Cushing. “He would be under treatment for a malignant tumor.”

“Malignant testicular tumors producing HCG are rather lethal,” Wadler added. “It is a fairly aggressive tumor and you’re not playing in the NFL with one.”

Cushing was voted the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year in the NFL, but upon learning of the positive test there was a second vote that took place.  In spite of the test result, the AP members kept Cushing as the winner, albeit a far narrower margin.

In the first go-round, Cushing collected 39 first place votes.  In the re-vote, he received 18 first place votes.  It was still enough to win, as Jairus Byrd of Buffalo tabbed 13 first place votes.

Cushing said that he did not like the fact that several members of the AP stated that the linebacker should relinquish his award voluntarily.

“Why? I know I didn’t do anything,” Cushing said. “I earned that award. I did everything I could. I was disappointed with the re-vote, but I have to respect the process again. But, no, I would never. I know what I did.”

Cushing has the support of his teammates in the locker room.

“It was very important for him, it was a huge award and I was happy that he got it again and he deserved it again,” said fellow Houston linebacker DeMeco Ryans. “He was the best rookie defensive player there was and he went out and proved that. Coming in this year after he’s gone those four games I don’t see any drop-off in what Cushing is going to bring to us. You’ll see that same level of play.”

For the upcoming NFL season, USA Online Sportsbooks have installed the Texans with 25/1 odds to capture Super Bowl XLV.

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