Brian Cushing says he didn't take a steroid, but what he says doesn't matter

On Friday, word emerged that Texans linebacker Brian Cushing will be suspended for the first four games of the 2010 season after violating the league’s policy regarding anabolic steroids and related substances.

Cushing now claims that he did not take an “anabolic steroid,” but one of the “related substances.”

I did not take a steroid,” Cushing told Jay Glazer of FOX.  “I’m very disappointed because
I thought we would’ve won the appeal.  I’m still stunned by the
decision.  It’ll be tough not being with my teammates.”

As we’ve previously pointed out, both with respect to Cushing and other players, the confidentiality of the testing program allows anyone who tests positive to say anything he wants regarding what he did or didn’t take, since the NFL never discloses the specific substance for which the player tested positive.  So for all anyone knows, Cushing was actively taking steroids (we’re not saying that he was), concealing his steroids use with a masking agent, and somehow slipped up.

And now, if he wants, he can tell Glazer and anyone else who’ll listen that the 2009 defensive rookie of the year wasn’t aided in that achievement by a “steroid.”

But, really, it doesn’t matter.  The NFL has identified a list of steroids and other substances that, if taken, constitute cheating.  And Cushing was caught with one of those substances in his system.  And so he necessarily was cheating.

Glazer apparently agrees with our logic.  “In today’s NFL guys have to be fully responsible
for what goes in their bodies,” Glazer said via Twitter.  “I don’t care if it was steroidal or not,
it’s on the player

Glazer also isn’t happy with Cushing, pointing out that the FOX NFL insider and his partner in MMAthletics, Randy Couture, are “extremely pissed
about the whole mess
, just being associated [with] any of this crap

As pointed out in Glazer’s item for, “Cushing was hounded by rumors of performance-enhancing drug use before he became a pro.”  Those rumors have now come to fruition.  Steroid or not, Cushing necessarily has taken performance-enhancing drugs. 

The guys who took StarCaps had a compelling explanation, since it was an over-the-counter substance that had been spiked with a prescription medication — and since the league knew about it and said nothing to the NFLPA, the FDA, or anyone else.  Cushing’s explanation to Glazer isn’t compelling.

To apply a mild twist to one of Forrest Gump’s pearls of wisdom, cheating is as cheating does.  And Cushing, barring a damn good explanation other than “I didn’t take steroids,” is a cheater.

Case closed.

Moving forward, the question will be whether he performs at the same level without taking whatever it was that he took.

69 responses to “Brian Cushing says he didn't take a steroid, but what he says doesn't matter

  1. Of course his gains in muscle from his freshman year and last year were all natural……

  2. The dude took ‘roids in college and now we’re suppose to believe that he didn’t take them this time…..get real cushing. nfl should check other dudes whose heads are twice the normal size, like clay matthews and a.j. hawk who could get a job in a circus as a “freak”.

  3. I wish Jay Glazer would stop acting like he’s so important. He’s always tweets his stories like they’re breaking news, even though Adam Schefter always beats him to it by several hours. Then he acts like Cushing let HIM down. Dude, your MMA training is not that bad ass. Cushing let his teammates down and Texans fans down, not you. Stick to your half ass reporting Jay.

  4. Cushing is probably a cheater, but the NFL’s drug system is amateur hour stuff.
    If Glazer cared about whether his clients were taking drugs, he’d give them an olympic style test. He only cares about the publicity he gets. Proof? He won’t shut up about this Cushing test even though he’s only tangentially related to it. No one cares what Glazer thinks, other than Glazer. He needs to stop rolling around on the ground with other dudes and work on breaking some good football news.

  5. Was it necessary to say necessarily more than once to make your point? It’s necessarily redundant.

  6. Hey Jay Glazer the only reason you are associated with Cushing in anyway is because you won’t shut up about it. When the story broke no one thought of you until you went crazy on twitter. Please get a reality check and get that ego under control.

  7. The problem is that they do not test for steroids, they test the ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone. There are things that you can take that increase your testosterone level that are not steroids. They have the potential to push this ratio into an unacceptable level. Im not saying that he didn’t take steroids. However it is important to note since journalism is dead no one ever points this out. The reality is that the supplement excuse is not as stupid as it sounds.

  8. Cushing has been relatively given a pass compared to what Merriman had to go through. Maybe his skin just isn’t dark enough.

  9. the NFL should be forced to reveal what he took…how eles will the rest of the league know what to ask their drug dealers for.

  10. Glazer gave up the steroids and now he is strictly an FDA approved FREE RANGE EGG.

  11. The NFL’s response to the use of performance enhancing substance abuse is lame.
    Cushing, like Merriman, Peppers, and others should be not only suspended, but should also forfiet any awards earned while abusing.
    Take the awards away, and suspend them 8 games. This problem will likely go away.

  12. If you look at the before and after pictures from his days at USC, it’s clear something frigging wierd was going on. You gotta wonder about those other high round USC LB picks too, as their before and after pics are just as bad.

  13. Jay Glazer and Humpty Dumpty were sitting on a wall. Luckily, Glazer escaped with just cuts and bruises.

  14. Have you seen the Jay Glazer bobblehead? Looks just like him except the head is smaller in proportion to the body.

  15. Yep, and I have a bridge to sell too. All he is doing is playing the same old tired script those busted before him used.

  16. Jay Glazer was an up and coming fighter when he was young. Then they banned pit bull matches in his state.

  17. If Cushing really believed is was not steroids. He would state what he was caught with.
    Just because the NFL will keep his results a secret doen not mean that Cushing is prohibited from disclosing his results.
    He won’t because he is guilty.

  18. And Lawrence didn’t rape a teenager, and OJ didn’t kill anybody, and Pete Rose never gambled, and Clinton never has sexual relations, and a lot more things that never happened…

  19. “Moving forward, the question will be whether he performs at the same level without taking whatever it was that he took.”
    Who says he’s going to stop? Maybe he’ll just switch masking agents. Maybe he forgot to take the masking agent, which resulted in the positive test.
    If he’s been cheating, there’s no reason to think he’ll suddenly stop doing it.

  20. Fox sent Jay Glazer to MSG to cover the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show a couple of years back. He accidentally was awarded best in class for medium sized dogs.

  21. Jay Glazer acting like he has anything to do with this story (especially being “extremely pissed”) is about as retarded as it gets. What a little Napoleon.

  22. If the NFL policy is to keep the tests confidential, (sort of like how they protected the tapes of the Patriots filming the other team’s sidelines out of public view) and then the player decides to publically deny it, then the NFL should just release the results.
    If taking a banned substance isn’t cheating, somebody tell the Viking fans because they insist the William’s sisters weren’t cheating. Still have to sit out the four games, but not cheating.

  23. Cushing maxed his body out at 230lbs. Every pound after that has been with the aid of grey-area supplements.

  24. I hate to burst your bubble, but 70% (my estimate) of the NFL is on something at one time or another.
    Dirty game and the officials can call back any play they want using a handy yellow flag, because, as we are told every year, there is holding on every play. They change the rules every year, because the game is flawed.
    I love watching football, but wake up. Santa is not real either. I’ll let you have the Easter Bunny. The sooner the sport is revealed as closer to WWE than some sort of fair contest, the better for the masses.

  25. You just might be the worst sporting news reporter around. Quit trying to act like 70% of this league doesn’t juice, Cushing was just unlucky enough to take something that was detectable.
    Get real.

  26. nfl should check other dudes whose heads are twice the normal size, like clay matthews and a.j. hawk who could get a job in a circus as a “freak”.
    I am sure the NFL has checked AJ Hawk atleast a handful of times during his career. He has yet to be supsended, I do worry about Clay Matthews especially with the rumors before getting drafted, but how about being innocent until proven guilty?

  27. “Cushing was hounded by rumors of performance-enhancing drug use before he became a pro.”

    So if that’s the case, then why would Glazer and Couture take that chance if they don’t want to be associated with that element. Please. Stick to being a reporter, Glazer. Otherwise, the WWE has some job openings, I’m sure.

  28. Florio. I didn’t hear such bold statements when the Pats were caught cheating! I forgot, you were Big Bad Billy’s pool boy.

  29. JSpicoli that wasa stupid comment. Wrestling is nothing like pro football. Yes there are missed calls and people take steroids but come on this is not even close. They did not decide that the saints were going to win the super bowl over the colts before the game. Are you serously on something yourself?

  30. @JSpicoli says:
    May 8, 2010 4:05 PM
    I hate to burst your bubble, but 70% (my estimate) of the NFL is on something at one time or another.
    You’re absolutely right. Where were all these 300 lb blocks of granite a few years ago? They didn’t get that way just from drinking protein shakes. Back in the 60s, most linemen weighed about 250-260 lbs. 40 year old players having their best season ever? Please!
    If the NFL, or any other pro sport, was serious about PEDs, they’d implement Olympic style testing and Olympic style penalties.

  31. hey Florio. Here’s an idea for some actually serious investigative journalism that you could do that would be of serious value to your readers. Do what basically amounts to a feature article on pro-steroids and other similar non-illegal steroids that nfl players might be taking.
    My guess is that a lot of nfl players are on various “legal” supplements that regular fans don’t really have a sense of. This would probably be more of a sports illustrated article than a PFT one, and you’d probly need to do a fair bit of research, but you’d be doing a lot of football fans a big service.

  32. He was getting all of that extra testosterone by sucking so much male genitals that he had to take precautions to hide it.
    Sadly for him, those are banned substances in the NFL.

  33. Who care’s he already got paid millions.. that’s all that matters these days.

  34. I would caution you, Florio, to not mistake “cheating” with “breaking the rules.” You’ve made many good comments on the Star Caps case. For example, you yourself have described Star Caps as “an over-the-counter diuretic secretly spiked with a banned substance” (
    You’ve also said, “let me be clear on this one. The NFL was wrong to not clearly and unequivocally warn the players as to the truth about StarCaps” (
    As you note, as far as we know, such a circumstance might be the reason Cushing was suspended. How can you use those descriptions regarding Star Caps while simultaneously claiming any one who took such a substance was “necessarily” cheating? “Cheating” implies a conscious decision to break the rules. Yes, Cushing seems to have broken the rules. But if he did that by, for example, taking an “an over-the-counter diuretic secretly spiked with a banned substance” that the league was wrong to not “unequivocally warn” players about, then the term “cheating” would not “necessarily” apply.

  35. I deny ever posting on PFT. I thought it was TMZ. Or Peter King’s Male Bag. Something else, but not PFT.

  36. This guy has got to learn, they only let the real big superstars get away with taking steroids, like Lebron or Tom Brady.

  37. Glazer is living proof that it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, that matters.
    It’s the size of the f*****g head on that dog!

  38. Personally, I typically give an athlete the benefit of the doubt (because I’m an idiot and I don’t like thinking of athletes as “bad guys” or cheaters), but I’m not buying Cushing’s story here. It’s the same washed up crap that every publicist and agent tries to ram down our throat, that their client is innocent and that it’s all a big misunderstanding.
    Contrary to what some people have said here, the NFL’s drug testing policy is the best in professional sports, so if it is “amateur” than every other sport can only be considered FAIL. Back when the Senate was conducting all those hearings a few years ago (because they didn’t want to single out baseball for being dumber than a brick), the NFL was praised for having a stable testing policy in place. Plus, Cushing has many of the physical characteristics of a roider (larger head, huge muscles).
    And note to Jay Glazer and Adam Schefter: Tweeting isn’t journalism. As a young journalist myself, breaking news on there is just a bad representation of our business. Real reporters tell a full story, not just a line or two to get some fanboy’s attention.

  39. I know how he feels, despite what many of you want to think, or say. I failed a drug test last month, testing positive for pot. I hadn’t smoked pot since July 4th 2008. Tell me how that’s possible? Drug tests are not 100% accurate, and it’s time something is done about this madness. It’s a scam on the American public.

  40. Billy Cushing is a CHEAT! I just wikipedia’d to see if Houston really has a football team…….and I’ll be damned.
    They play in the AFC South with the Colts, Titans and Jags.

  41. Wishbone:
    I’m a Geometry teacher and football coach, so you know I loved your use of the word “tangent.” Well said and well used, man.

  42. JSpicoli–any chance you might provide some supporting evidence for your 70% estimate, or did you just make up that number? I don’t disagree that steroids and other PEDs are fairly common in the NFL, especially with how lax the league’s testing policy is (thanks, union boys!), but it seems like that percentage is based on absolutely nothing.
    Stuart Scotts left eye says:
    May 8, 2010 3:30 PM
    Cushing has been relatively given a pass compared to what Merriman had to go through. Maybe his skin just isn’t dark enough
    Are you kidding? The story just broke a day or so ago. Merriman was given an enormous pass on his PED use until he was caught, and it wasn’t worse than the first 24hrs. of this Cushing thing.

  43. That’s the problem with reporters nowadays is they think they ARE the story instead of simply reporting the story.

  44. I take back my statement that the NFL’s policy is the best in professional sports. I should rephrase that it is the best in American professional sports. The Olympics’ policy is probably the best in the world.

  45. Hey “alobar26” let me be clear. Just because Starcaps contain Bumetanide, does not mean the Williams Wall did not take Bumetanide specifically to mask their use of steroids.

  46. Two things:
    1. Jay Glazer suffers from an extreme case of Little-Man Syndrome. He tries to act like a badass to compensate for his 5’2” stature.
    2. In regards to Cushing, NO supplements are regulated by the FDA. Therefore, if players choose to ingest products not labeled safe by the NFL, they reap what they sow.

  47. Yea enough he said she said.
    Cushing prove it or you shot up simple.
    There is no doubt in my mind the NFL gave you paperwork explaining exactly what you tested positive for. So either produce the paperwork on tv, the internet, larry king live or whatever and prove your innocence or dont and prove your guilt. Simple is as Simple does.

  48. Get off your high horse, SportsDevil. You’ll never amount to anything near Schefter or Glazer, so shut up. You haven’t done anything. Besides, twitter is a just a quicker way to get things out – it’s journalism since they’re breaking it. They ALWAYS have a story to it filed and put on .com’s right away. Just what the times are today. Maybe you should join it if you ever do want to get somewhere.

  49. Cush’s rumors of roid use have been rampant for years now including his first few at USC
    it isnt a surprise and by looking at him, you can see it

  50. The whole “let’s see if he performs at the same level” line always baffles me.
    Barry Bonds went how many years without a positive test? Cushing went at least 6 or 7. How about the Carolina Panthers, many of whom were being prescribed HGH, and none of whom (except for the punter, right?) ever tested positive for anything.
    Drug tests rarely catch users, because users are cheaters, and cheaters know how to cheat drug tests. Cushing knows he’s not an elite athlete without PEDs. When he comes back, there’s just as good a chance he’ll find new drugs to use as there is that he’ll go clean. So we’re not gonna know whether it was the drugs or not. Just like we don’t know if A-Rod or any of the other confirmed users are still juicing.

  51. ethan robert says: May 8, 2010 5:31 PM
    How many more times are you planning on adding comments to this one topic?
    Are you aware you’ve already replied 7 times, for no particular reason?
    And you aren’t even talking to anybody.
    Are you feeling OK?

  52. Tomcalimontana: You’re right…the Williams’ might have taken Star Caps to mask steroids. But to say they *might* have and to say they *necessarily* cheated is not the same. Right now, it seems the same applies to Cushing. That’s all I’m saying. He *necessarily* broke the rules. He *might* have cheated.

  53. Pete Carroll prolly knows or suspects which of his USC players took ‘roids in college. Maybe that’s why he avoided MAYS in the draft. Mays reaction to being ignored by Carroll was similar ro a ‘roid rage…lol. Mays has amazing size, speed and aggression for his position, but perhapos Carroll knew that those measureables will diminish at the NFL level under a frequent testing regimen.

  54. amazing the number of tunnel vision idiots that mentioned Merriman…are you really that clueless to think that NO ONE on your favirtoe team was every guilty of STERIOD abuse?….if you are that naive, you deserve the idiocracy that you live in…get a clue!

  55. Treezs says: May 8, 2010 5:10 PM
    Who care’s he already got paid millions.. that’s all that matters these days.
    Ain’t that the truth!

  56. I’d like to see some real effort reporting on this story as some of your other storylines…
    First, has this gone on since his freshman year at USC?
    Second, how does his former teammate Clay Matthews feel about not winning Defensive Rookie of the Year honors to a juiced Cushing?
    Come on PFT, pursue this story with the same vigor you do with your other storylines…

  57. he was juicing when he played at BC in high school, i didnt think he was dumb enough to get caught though.

  58. Florio,
    please stop giving Jay Glazer verbal blowjobs. Quit calling him an ‘insider.’ He’s an opportunistic weasel that will sell you out before you realize he’s doing it. How do you think a turd like him ever got put in front of a camera? His entrepreneurial sycophantic nature helped him climb the ladder, and soon he’ll be standing on your shoulders, to capitalize on what little integrity you’ve earned yourself.
    He used a player to advertise his MMA training, and is now throwing him under the bus. If PED’s made people taller or increased penis size, Glazer would be 7ft tall and swinging a Lousiville Slugger. He also realizes that ‘bad publicity is still publicity’.
    Earn your journalistic integrity through other sources, Mike. Work harder. Flush that turd Glazer. for god’s sake, quit dropping names. It’s not ‘who’, but ‘what’ you know. Glazer’s hands are too small to even throw a football. C’MON

  59. mikeyclaw says:
    May 8, 2010 3:37 PM
    The NFL’s response to the use of performance enhancing substance abuse is lame.
    Cushing, like Merriman, Peppers, and others should be not only suspended, but should also forfiet any awards earned while abusing.
    Take the awards away, and suspend them 8 games. This problem will likely go away.
    Your response to this story is lame. And completely wrong.
    You mean Julius?
    Chuck Bednarik Award (2001)
    Lombardi Award (2001)
    Bill Willis Award (2001)
    NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year (2002)
    5× Pro Bowl selection (2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009)
    2× First-Team All-Pro selection (2004, 2006)
    2× Second-Team All-Pro selection (2008, 2009)
    NFL 2000s All-Decade Team
    Yet never a SINGLE issue with banned substances–not even suggested or rumored.
    Next time, before you decide to say something ignorant and uninformed, decide not to.

  60. The main reason the NFL is so anal about steroids is the fact that it can cause health problems. Teams don’t want to be giving guaranteed money to a guy who might not even be able to play out his whole contract. Bad health=wasted money. I strongly believe that anyone can use whatever they want, but I can understand why it’s such a problem in sports that pay.

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