Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Jason Ferguson, who has been suspended for the first eight games of the 2010 season for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy, says the banned substance he took was a medication for high blood pressure.
“I’m no cheater,” Ferguson told Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “I got in trouble with my blood pressure and I was taking that medication, which I’d been taking for a long time [on and off]. . . . But it ain’t a steroid because even the league will tell you my [urine] wasn’t diluted. It wasn’t nothing that’s going to make me stronger. It’s a blood pressure pill that makes you piss.”
Whatever this medication was, Ferguson acknowledges that he took it and acknowledges that it’s on the list of banned substances. So he broke NFL rules, and he’s going to suffer the consequences.
What’s particularly surprising about Ferguson’s claim that he simply took the medication without knowing it was banned is that this is Ferguson’s second suspension. In 1999 he was suspended four games for taking what he says was an over-the-counter dietary supplement.
After already being suspended once, you’d think Ferguson would have made absolutely certain that every substance he took was permitted under league rules. So what on earth was he thinking?
“I was being lazy,” Ferguson said, “and I’ll do the time for that.”
Of course, the confidentiality of the drug-testing process means there’s no way for anyone to verify that what Ferguson tested positive for was, in fact, a blood-pressure medicine. And Ferguson says he wishes the league would change that confidentiality policy.
“I just wish the league would be more black and white with the suspension. You let people know we’re suspended, then let them know what happened. Don’t have them speculating,” Ferguson said. “Tell them what it was. The way they put it out is I failed something on the steroid list. I never took any steroids, no pills, or injections. I have high blood pressure and took something that’s on the [banned] list. My mistake is not being aware of what’s on the list.”