Skip to content

Pressure mounts on NFL over steroids policy

It’s unclear whether the name “Brian Cushing” eventually will be synonymous with a comprehensive overhaul of the NFL’s steroids policy.  For now, however, it is clear that the Cushing case has sparked the most intense debate and analysis of any suspension for use of a performance-enhancing substance by a pro football player.

Criticism is coming as to various aspects of the situation, from the stubborn adherence to confidentiality that allows the player to say whatever he wants to say regarding the positive test to the unprecedented decision to redo the vote for AP defensive rookie of the year to the reality that players who choose to juice easily may resolve the cost-benefit analysis by accepting the one-in-five weekly risk of a random test in order to, for example, return more quickly from an injury.

But most are troubled by the fact that Cushing tested positive in September, and that he was permitted to continue to play for the rest of the season.  If the Texans had qualified for the playoffs, he presumably would have been eligible for the entire postseason, too.

The matter has drawn the attention of anti-doping experts.  “It is so far beyond the pale that it negates the intent of the
policy
,” Dr. Gary Wadler, an associate professor of
medicine at New York university and an adviser to the World Ant-Doping Agency, told Michael O’Keeffe and Nathaniel Vinton of the New York Daily
News
.  “[Cushing]
gets tested in September and plays the whole season?  He played so well
he was named defensive rookie of the year?  Then it is announced that he
was taking a performance-enhancing drug?  That doesn’t make sense. . . .  It makes a mockery of the anti-doping process.”

The league explains that it takes time to sift through the facts and to respect the player’s rights.  “It’s not unusual for some cases to take a lengthy amount of time from
specimen collection through the appeals process and the announcement,”
the NFL said in a statement, per the Daily News.  “All of the time periods and protocols in
place are designed to ensure that the result is accurate and the player
has every appropriate due process protection.”

Meanwhile, the notion that hCG is a “non-steroidal” obscures the fact that, as reported by the Daily News, “the substance is well-known in the steroid underworld as an accessory to steroid use.”

“I have never heard of somebody just taking it just to take it,” Scott Siegel, a former steroids dealer who played one in The Wrestler, told the Daily News.  “Mostly everyone
I know would be bodybuilders taking it after a cycle.”

It’ll be interesting to see what Cushing has to say about the presence of hGC in his system when he meets the media on Thursday; John McClain of the Houston Chronicle advises that Cushing will be taking questions. 

It’ll also be interesting to see whether any of this catches the attention of Congress, which in the past has been placated by the efforts of baseball and football to police themselves.  The Cushing case could cause Congress to revisit the situation.

If it results in stiffer penalties and a clearer path to the truth after a positive test, we’d have no problem with that.

Permalink 35 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Houston Texans, Rumor Mill, Sprint Football Live - Rumors, Top Stories
35 Responses to “Pressure mounts on NFL over steroids policy”
  1. dabarber says: May 12, 2010 10:50 PM

    I honestly don’t give a crap what these knuckleheads shoot into their ass to make them play better.
    I want to be entertained and if that entails some guy juicing up and getting in a good 8 years of football for me why should I care? Let them die at 40…as long as they put on a good show.

  2. The Wishbone says: May 12, 2010 11:00 PM

    According to some doctor I saw interviewed the other day, hCG is in seminal fluid. So if he, ya know, did something that people do soon before taking the test, it would be in his sample.
    I haven’t seen any one else address that aspect of it, and God knows I’m not researching seminal fluid…
    C’mon, Florio, do some work! Investigate! Get us some facts!
    At the very least, tell Florio Jr. that Brian Cushing isn’t responsible for his upbringing lol.

  3. pancho smith says: May 12, 2010 11:05 PM

    Hey ever-the-lawyer Florio
    Congress has a lot more important things to work on than the problems caused by yet another pro athlete juicer chasing millions. Let the NFL and NFLPA take care of their own problems.

  4. FreeAgentPro says: May 12, 2010 11:10 PM

    I hope John McClain of the Houston Chronicle goes through his own version of DIE HARD for supporting a cheater.
    Maybe the PR press conference tomorrow should be called a Con-Cushin.

  5. ethan robert says: May 12, 2010 11:12 PM

    Two aspects stand out here to me.
    1. Why is no one trying to find out where these guys get their drugs and who is instructing them on how and when to use them? Kids in high school and college don’t have the expertise to know what to use, at which times, and where to obtain the drugs. Someone is coaching them through the whole process. Either an agent, a trainer, a coach, or someone on the periphery of the athletic program with medical expertise.
    When cops bust recreational drug users or addicts, I think the emphasis quickly turns to finding the supplier. Particularly when the user is young and impressionable. In the world of athlete performance drugs, the focus seems to be totally on the user. When is the last time you heard of a coach, trainer, agent, or “advisor” being busted in a significant way for supplying drugs and expertise to athletes? Rarely happens.
    2. Pro teams take no responsibility for a cheating player. Other than the fact that he is unavailable to them for a period of time. They even save the player’s salary while he is suspended. Never have I heard of a team suspending or fining a player any great amount for performance enhancing drug usage. They’ll do it for marijuana or other drugs that don’t help a player on the field but not for drugs that do. At least in Olympid or world championships a team is stripped of the medals a drugged athlete wins. No pro team sport franchise seems to be penalized in any fashion when one of it’s athletes cheats. Take away a few wins and fine the team a significant amount and the whole landscape of performance enhancing drugs would change overnight.
    These are obvious steps, but I have yet to hear them mentioned. Just a lot of handwringing and moralizing and outrage at the occasional unlucky or stupid individual who happens to slip up.

  6. Route36West says: May 12, 2010 11:18 PM

    HAHAHAHA PENGUINS SUCK!!!!
    FLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLUUUUERRRRRRYYYYY….
    JOOOOOHHNNNSSSSOOONNNNNNN….
    PENGUINS SUCK!!!!
    FLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLUUUUERRRRRRYYYYY….
    JOOOOOHHNNNSSSSOOONNNNNNN….
    PENGUINS SUCK!!!!
    FLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLUUUUERRRRRRYYYYY….
    JOOOOOHHNNNSSSSOOONNNNNNN….
    PENGUINS SUCK!!!!
    FLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLUUUUERRRRRRYYYYY….
    JOOOOOHHNNNSSSSOOONNNNNNN….

  7. Reggie'sBush says: May 12, 2010 11:19 PM

    “I think pro-athletes should be forced to use steroids. I think we as fans deserve the greatest athletes science can create! Lets go! Anything that will make you run faster, jump higher! I have High-Definition TV! I want my athletes like my video games! Lets go! I could care less if you die at 40. You hate life after sports anyways. I’m doing you a favor.”
    -Daniel Tosh
    Nice rip off dabarber

  8. realitypolice says: May 12, 2010 11:23 PM

    It’ll also be interesting to see whether any of this catches the attention of Congress, which in the past has been placated by the efforts of baseball and football to police themselves. The Cushing case could cause Congress to revisit the situation.
    ===============================
    Congress should not spend 5 seconds dealing with any aspect of this situation- just as they never should have gotten involved with baseball steroid use, or for that matter the BCS.
    Regardless of what most people who read and/or post on this site might think, sports is not a matter of national interest or security. Sports are entertainment, and congress has much more important things to do than get involved in policing major league sports. If you think otherwise, re-examine your priorities.
    I didn’t vote for my congressman because of his views on steroids in sports, or whether there should be a playoff for the national championship, and I don’t expect or want him to spend one minute of his time or one dollar of taxpayer money holding committee meetings of such unimportant matters.
    And don’t give me your “what about the kids” argument. Raise your own damn kids, and don’t expect the government or the NFL to do it for you. Parents should spend a little more time paying attention to their kids and less time whining about all the awful things their “role models” are doing. If you were worth a damn as a parent, their role model would be YOU.

  9. ethan robert says: May 12, 2010 11:26 PM

    Yeah, LOL, that chinless little twerp from the shallow end of the parched French Canadian gene pool let in a FLURRY of goals tonight. So overrated.

  10. Hugh says: May 12, 2010 11:28 PM

    I don’t see what the fuse is all about.
    Patriot fans feel it is alright to cheat by filming the opponents.
    Falcon and Eagle fans think it’s alright for a QB to torture and kill dogs.
    Raven fans think it’s alright for a LB to cover up the murder of a person.
    Steeler fans think it’s alright for a QB to walk around at parties with his johnson hanging out his pants and to rape drunken college girls.
    Saints fans think it’s alright for the head coach to be a drug addict.
    What’s a little steroids?
    When did everone here obtain morals?
    /ends sarcasm.
    All of you are freaking idiots.

  11. NFLFollower says: May 13, 2010 12:00 AM

    Coach, trainer, booster, alumni….these are NOT the suppliers. Trust me, having played college athletics, it is a “don’t ask don’t tell” policy. Coaches and trainers may turn their heads, but I’ve seen numerous posts suggesting these people are the source of the steroids, and we need to attack the source. That is simply not the case. Like any other illegal / prescription drug, there are plenty of dealers, and they know how to come in contact with potential users.
    Think about it for a second….why would Pete Carrol or anybody else risk their coaching career when they know they can turn a blind eye, and the players will have NO problem obtaining PED’s from other sources? Same result of bigger faster stronger players—no implications for the coach. They are not that foolish.

  12. THEMIGHTYWHITEY says: May 13, 2010 12:12 AM

    look you guys are a bunch of retards …..do you really think that ONLY Brian uses juice in the NFL because he is they only one caught right now ??? come on…..the tests can be beat …as for where or how to get them …..they are everywhere …..the league is run by hypocrites …cortisone shot = steroid same thing …..no ifs ands or buts ….and they are condoned ….
    the NFL is being ruined not by drugs ….but the brass trying to be P.C. ..facts are facts .why do people keep saying that these guys will die when they are 40 ? ….if that’s the case , the whole generation of players from the 60′s thru the 90′s would be wiped out DEAD !…But is that the case ? nope not even close
    alcohol and guns are doing more harm in the NFL than any steroids…..but they are legal ! what a joke

  13. Hail2ThaRedskins says: May 13, 2010 12:13 AM

    dabarber,
    I understand your sentiment. And I somewhat agree with you. I don’t really care whether an athlete does steroids or not or how it negatively affects them later in life. However, the problem with allowing players to use PEDs is that it makes an uneven playing field. The other players who choose to play using only their natural athletic ability and hard work are then placed at disadvantage. This will encourage players who otherwise wouldn’t use steroids to compromise their health in order to remain competitive or even retain their job.
    So, while I don’t hold any animosity towards athletes that use PEDs nor do I get angry or feel cheated (hell like you said they are doing it to put on a better show for me), I do believe it is the right thing to remove PEDs from sports. But all sides need to come together to formulate a process that is both effective and fair!

  14. mcarey032 says: May 13, 2010 12:24 AM

    We ask these guys to take a beating like no other, yet they should be able to maintain a “normal” and “healthy” workout regimen? It is a bit of a paradox? No? I really don’t care that football players juice because they need that recovery time to regenerate. Besides, I don’t want to hear that players of yester year wouldn’t have done this, because if players back then were in the climate that these players are in now, for sure that they would be shooting up. I don’t have a problem with them juicing because these guys put their bodies through so much pain and abuse that we will never know and then when they retire, they will go away and we will forget these guys. They will be broken and battered, but they shoudl have been taking care of themseleves. We can’t be hypocrites.

  15. pluto says: May 13, 2010 12:36 AM

    ENOUGH!!!! just like the williams “brothers” and others, cushing and those other stooges have been caught with illegal substances in there bodies. this is one of the few rules pro athletes actually have to follow. they sure as hell don’t live to the letter of law like normal citizens have to. they lead a privileged life, get grossly overpaid to play a game and still can’t follow simple rules.
    this isn’t “football” news, it’s news about a football player cheating and getting caught. so another cheater gets his name in the news and the media tries to dissect and editorialize everything that anyone says instead if just “reporting” it.
    to summarize, screw the cheaters and screw the media.

  16. edgy1957 says: May 13, 2010 12:50 AM

    ethan robert says:
    Kids in high school and college don’t have the expertise to
    ******************************
    Here’s the hilarious part about what you’re talking about: steroids made their way from the amateur ranks up to the professional level.
    Oh and here’s an interesting tidbit: one of the fastest growing group of users of steroids are teenage girls, who use them to get a more buff look and not necessarily for performance enhancement because many of them don’t play sports. They sure as hell didn’t learn that from watching NFL players…..

  17. edgy1957 says: May 13, 2010 12:56 AM

    WADA has been trying to get into the NFL’s panties forever and they’re a bunch of whiny bitches that should keep their noses out of American professional sports and work harder on the rest of the world.

  18. Balla says: May 13, 2010 1:31 AM

    If the NFL was serious about its anti-doping policy, players would be suspended for a full season for testing positive for a banned substance. It is painfully obvious that “the shield” is protecting drug users and abusers for the sake of the bottom line. I hope that Kushing remembers that karma is a fickle bitch and that he will get what he deserves in the long run.

  19. bobinpuertorico says: May 13, 2010 1:51 AM

    The NFL should ban scum like Cushing for life, not merely suspend them for four games. For 18 AP voters to reward this pathetic bum for playing dirty in every game last year (the benefits of steriod use did not disappear when he ended his “juicing cycle” at took HCG to jump start his body’s production of testosterone), is reprehensible. Anyone who fails to condemn Cushing is also an ignorant fool.

  20. wxwax says: May 13, 2010 2:26 AM

    A lawyer who’s against due process?
    Say, you didn’t use to be a prosecutor by any chance, did you?

  21. iusedtobeteddybayer says: May 13, 2010 2:28 AM

    Goddell will fix this. He’s not hiding behind “intention” or any other loophole. This will be fixed when — when ever that is — a new collective bargaining agreement is in place.

  22. TexansMike says: May 13, 2010 3:28 AM

    The only thing that is mounting is the white crap under your nose Florio.
    Both you and AP should be ashamed to even post ( not report, because you do not report).
    You look like a junkie, and probably would test Dui anytime you drive.
    I used to admire you, but you have become sort of nothing but a waste.

  23. OscarMooseFarmer says: May 13, 2010 3:36 AM

    @ethan roberts… The drugs and the know-how is easily found at any two bit gym in any city in the world.. almost..

  24. pondbridge says: May 13, 2010 4:16 AM

    In addition to the 4 game suspension, Texans lose their second round pick in the 2011 draft. Until the team is held accountable, don’t ask- don’t tell prevails. Kubiak was going do do ANYTHING to try to save his job, and did. What will Fox tolerate this year at Carolina– Panthers were already Roid Central the one year they went to the SB.

  25. shaunypoo says: May 13, 2010 7:19 AM

    Well said realitypolice. Frankly, I think the headline should read “Pressure mounts on PFT over steroid policy.” I have seen articles here or there over this, but PFT is the only one with this kind of volume and vitriol. The NFL is punishing him according to the current policy. So they took awhile and he won an award while the NFL did it’s research, big deal.
    Do I want all athletes to play fair, of course I do, and we all have a right to be mad when players on other teams are caught cheating, but don’t pretend someone on your team isn’t cheating in one way or another. In this case, then ends don’t justify the means, but it sports, it never does. Sports are supposed to be the pinnacle of competitiveness and fair play, but when this much money changes hands, good luck.
    IMO, we should adopt the WADA stance and give a 2 year ban for a first offense and lifetime for second. Would clean up American sports real quick. It wouldn’t fix everything, but nothing will.
    Otherwise, get off the steroid nutsack, Florio.

  26. GRpatriot says: May 13, 2010 7:57 AM

    Revote. He still won the award. Hipocrates…

  27. steeelfann says: May 13, 2010 7:57 AM

    Florio, get off the Congress talk. Though your NFL world is important to you, it is a pimple on a mosquito’s ass in terms of importance to our country.
    First of all, our lame Congress are not even enforcing the laws of this country and protecting our borders. Any Congress members who are involved in this should be fired and arrested for treason.
    We have lack of jobs, constant stealing and lying in our government, their lack of accountability with our money and budgets. We have epidemics in crime in many cities, huge trade deficits, etc. Congress needs to focus on getting themselves corrected, not worry about some 20-something kids taking roids to play better. Sorry, we pay them to do other things more important (which they are not doing well in that department at all).
    What, are you going to call Congress if your neighbor’s tree is hanging over into your yard?

  28. dakotah says: May 13, 2010 8:41 AM

    Its obvious to anyone with a brain that Cushing was taking the drug in an attempt to get pregnant. Its a lifestyle choice on his part and all you haters should just back off. You bitches.

  29. Jack Burton says: May 13, 2010 8:42 AM

    Shawne Merriman Part Deux.

  30. dabarber says: May 13, 2010 8:43 AM

    Who the F is Daniel Tosh?
    ___________________________________
    Reggie’sBush says:
    May 12, 2010 11:19 PM
    “I think pro-athletes should be forced to use steroids. I think we as fans deserve the greatest athletes science can create! Lets go! Anything that will make you run faster, jump higher! I have High-Definition TV! I want my athletes like my video games! Lets go! I could care less if you die at 40. You hate life after sports anyways. I’m doing you a favor.”
    -Daniel Tosh
    Nice rip off dabarber

  31. overkil2 says: May 13, 2010 9:24 AM

    Bottom line is that a lot of athletes are doing it, he was just stupid enough to get caught. There are ways around the system. If you are too stupid to follow a set of rules on how to do it, you deserve to be suspended for being an idiot.
    For the record, I don’t condone steroid use, but I can understand the pressure these guys face to be great football players and cabn understand how some of them cave in to that pressure and juice up. It’s not fair to the athlete who doesn’t need it, but then again, life isn’t fair.

  32. blacktoothgrin says: May 13, 2010 9:42 AM

    ethan robert says:
    May 12, 2010 11:12 PM
    Two aspects stand out here to me.
    1. Why is no one trying to find out where these guys get their drugs and who is instructing them on how and when to use them? Kids in high school and college don’t have the expertise to know what to use, at which times, and where to obtain the drugs. Someone is coaching them through the whole process. Either an agent, a trainer, a coach, or someone on the periphery of the athletic program with medical expertise.
    ______________________________
    I gurantee kids in high school and college can find out all they want to know about how to get and how to use steroids after about 30 seconds on this new fangled thing called the internet. They are taking a risk ordering anything, but I know people who have. Or they meet some big guy at the gym who uses and suddenly they have a hook up. I highly doubt anyone in the organization is involved, a team would not want to get involved with supplying steroids to players, too much risk. I’m sure they look the other way, but they would never actually supply or help.

  33. BroncosFanTX77 says: May 13, 2010 11:12 AM

    McClain_on_NFL
    Cushing didn’t talk on the advice of agent Tom Condon and his attorney. Now he’s going to face the music.
    McClain_on_NFL
    Brian Cushing will meet with the media and answer questions about his suspension Thursday at 1 p.m. at Reliant Stadium.

  34. edgy1957 says: May 13, 2010 11:36 AM

    WADA has been trying to get into the NFL’s panties forever and they’re a bunch of whiny bitches that should keep their noses out of American professional sports and work harder on the rest of the world.

  35. edgy1957 says: May 13, 2010 12:09 PM

    What’s funny (and I say this about the stink in MLB) are the constant ravings of the anti-steroid crowd. On the one hand, you talk about how steroids make the cheaters so good and on the other hand, you talk about how the guys that aren’t cheating are so good without them BUT how do you REALLY know which of the top performers aren’t using them? Are they naturally that big or good or are they enhanced? Many of the people here who say that they knew that so and so was doing it, swore that they knew that Barry Bonds was juicing because of all the signs were there but they were also clueless about A-Rod.
    I’m not saying that they’re all cheating but some of you who are REALLY holier-than-thou should tone down your act because you’re going to end up defending a favorite player who will end up getting caught. The reality is that professional players will inject their own urine into themselves if soemeone were to tell them that it would allow them to play better.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!