Texans linebacker Brian Cushing has been reinstated from the 10-game suspension he served for a second violation of the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy and he spoke to reporters on Wednesday about what led to the positive test.
Cushing did not say what substance he took that triggered the test, but intimated that it is one that others in the league take with a prescription. He said he began taking it because there were a “good amount of things bothering me in this past offseason, most mentally” and blamed himself for not communicating with the league.
“I should have communicated with the league better about it,” Cushing said, via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “I take full responsibility for it. The encouraging thing is there are other guys in the league that are allowed to take this. … I hope they understand I had an issue I was trying to better myself with. As I’ve gotten older, there’s been a lot of things I’ve been worrisome about. Especially with a lot of the older players that have played and retired and the situations they’ve been in.”
Cushing’s longtime trainer said at the time of Cushing’s suspension that the linebacker was using DHEA (the hormone dehydroepiandrosterone), which is part of many over-the-counter supplements but is banned by the NFL. The Mayo Clinic’s website says that DHEA could be used for anti-aging purposes “in theory,” but that no research backs up that use. The human body naturally produces dehydroepiandrosterone in the adrenal gland, which in turn helps produce testosterone and estrogen.
The trainer later backed off that claim and Cushing never commented publicly. He did say on Wednesday that Adderall was not the trigger for the positive test.