Cushing failed drug test in September

Although it wasn’t revealed until last week, Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing failed a performance-enhancing drug test in September, when he was first embarking on a season that would result in him winning the Defensive Rookie of the Year Award.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Cushing tested positive in September and played the 2009 season with the specter of a four-game suspension hanging over him.

Cushing went to the Pro Bowl and won the rookie of the year award, but he won’t be eligible for the Pro Bowl next season because he’s going to be suspended for the first four games, and players suspended for positive performance-enhancing drug tests aren’t allowed to play in the Pro Bowl.

Cushing appealed the positive test in February, but he lost his appeal and will serve his suspension in Weeks 1-4 of the 2010 season.

79 responses to “Cushing failed drug test in September

  1. actually Cushing and Clay Matthews failed a drug test during the combine

  2. Why not suspend his ass last season? How can he wait so long to appeal? At least if it goes down earlier, he wouldnt have stolen rookie of the year from Jairus Byrd.

  3. what about the DefROY award?
    does it get taken away? who would be awarded the trophy in that situation since the voting was a landslide in his favor?

  4. That certainly changes the perspective on his ROTY season. I don’t imagine he would have been using any drugs AFTER he was caught in the act. So he probably won the award “honestly”.

  5. So – the NFL, in all its wisdom, gave the Defensive Rookie of the Year award to a guy they KNEW was about to be suspended 4 games for ‘Roids?? And sent him to the Pro Bowl? There were absolutely no other candidates?
    Can you say “perception problem” Mr. Goodell?
    By the way – can someone please ask Cushing to stop wearing lipstick for his official photos? He’s the Alice Cooper of roided-out linebackers

  6. so he failed a drug test, played the whole season and then was suspended for the next season. He obviously needs to lose his rookie of the year award.

  7. Looks like somebody was trying to make this go away.
    Why would it take this long to act on a positive drug test?

  8. I thought you had to fail twice to be suspended? So why in the hell wasn’t he suspended during the season if he failed the test in the first full month of the season?
    He should be stripped of all accolades he earned during his rookie season. It’s only fair.

  9. well that works out well for him.
    we are supposed to assume he quit taking them when he tested positive and his ROY award is clean, right?
    or did his chemist alter the formula?
    I actually do think this makes the award more valid than a test in december.

  10. The NFL has to strip the Defensive ROY award from Cushing. If they can suspend guys w/o charges, this is a case of clear guilt. Goodell the ball is in your court.

  11. how the hell was he allowed to win any awards if he tested positive at the beginning of the season? thats idiotic

  12. The ROY Award definitely needs to be taken from him. If this is not done, then the NFL is sending the message that players will be rewarded for breaking the rules. It really does not matter if the award is given to another player or just taken away to leave no defensive ROY for 2009, Cushing must not be permitted to keep it.
    Also, the league needs to do something to prevent players from continuing to play for basically a full year after failing a PED test, as though nothing had happened. I realize that the player is permitted an appeal, but make the appeal due two weeks after notification of a failed test and then a league decision one week after that.

  13. What? September? Why didn’t the NFL take action until February, at which time Cushing appealed?
    He never should have been eligible for the Pro Bowl OR the Rookie of the Year in ’09. Jairus Byrd should be “anointed” the DROY publicly, officially and in all NFL records.
    The NFL needs to close whatever loopholes are hanging out there to prevent such delays.

  14. Wow. September? The appeals process took way too long. Had this not taken so long he would not have won awards he didn’t deserve. They should definitely strip him of the DROY award. What ever happened to character? Sheesh.

  15. His positive test coincided with the start of the season and he got to wait until February(?) before he appealed it? WDF?
    How about some swift action if you’re actually caught cheating?

  16. so your whole team can juice and not face repercussions until next season? Cool. Lets hire Romanowski!

  17. Wonder if he lost any contract escalator clause or triggered a penalty rider with the suspension.
    Does ParrotFreelanceTalk have an investigative wing?

  18. How was he able to continue playing for 4 months before he even appealed? Shouldn’t the suspension go into effect immediately if not appealed at that time?

  19. So let me understand this, you can test positive before the start of the Olympic Games, then go on to win the 100M dash and when the test gets revealed months later, you are disqualified from the next Olympic Games.
    Seems FAIR.

  20. Orakpo is, has been, and will always be the best DEF player from this draft class.
    Give him the rookie defensive player of the year award like he should have received…hands down!

  21. sounds like cushing has an honesty problem. he failed a test the first month, probably got notified in October sometime, and still played the rest of the year AND accepted a pro bowl invite? That’s pretty bush league I would say. Strip that DROY award.

  22. Why was this swept under the rug for almost 9 months? Granted, he’s serving the suspension this season, but he should have done so last season.

  23. So he played the whole season with a positive test??? I would be upset, but we beat Houston twice last year…

  24. It doesn’t matter if he’s not eligible for the pro-bowl, he’ll likely never make it back without juicing.

  25. The awarded is voted on and dished out by the AP (Associated Press). The NFL has no “jurisdiction” here in regards to the award. Peter King states that he will address this in his Tuesday MQB article tomorrow. My 2 cents, I agree…intentional or not..it gets revoked & awarded to Byrd.

  26. # WarrenMoonGOAT says: May 10, 2010 10:11 AM
    actually Cushing and Clay Matthews failed a drug test during the combine
    ————————
    You couldn’t be more wrong. Neither failed any test at the combine. That was reiterated numerous times due to the rumors, so get your facts straight because you look like a jack a.ss rather than a goat!

  27. He still won the DROY award because it’s awarded by the AP not the NFL, so just like us finding out now so is the AP.
    He was probably just taking something to keep up with that pretty ass hair

  28. # WarrenMoonGOAT says: May 10, 2010 10:11 AM
    actually Cushing and Clay Matthews failed a drug test during the combine
    ——————————————————————
    You idiot, that was a false report that was proven bogus by the league. Get your head out of your behind.

  29. “Ben Huh says:
    May 10, 2010 10:37 AM
    Why was this swept under the rug for almost 9 months? Granted, he’s serving the suspension this season, but he should have done so last season.

    The same reason a person who has committed murder is still alive 10-15 years after they are sentenced to death. The appeals process.

  30. Hey “BEST BUDDIES”……
    You guys all have it backwards. There is very little likelyhood that Cushing was juiced during the season if he was caught at the beginning. Far less chance that he was using than Byrd or Matthews or whoever you want to give the award to.

  31. Take his award away….I mean I guess I can tell my kid to go ahead take PEDs, it will make u better so you can have a better shot at winning awards BUT now JR if you get caught you have to face the music….I mean thats what the pro’s do and since he is a kid and idolizes these athletes like we all do at a young age thats all he is seeing, take his award away….all the kids are thinking, will he won the award and 4 games is just 4 games…take the award away so the kids see that your acheivemnts will be gone too by cheating….

  32. Hey Goodell – Bud Selig called. He said you are acting like a freaking idiot

  33. last starfighter says:
    You idiot, that was a false report that was proven bogus by the league. Get your head out of your behind.
    if it was proven to be ‘bogus’ then he should’ve have failed a drug test at all
    don’t u think the NFL hid this info because they didn’t want it to come out, just like they didn’t suspend him after a failed drug test until next season
    whos the idiot now

  34. obviously, the report last year before the combine was true, and USC covered it up.

  35. Ok Barry Bonds Cushing up that defensive rookie of the year award, think it belongs to Orakpo now. And as someone asked earlier why wasn’t he suspended last year? Something fishy going on here…

  36. The NFL doesn’t award the ROYs. Those awards are given out by the Associated Press … and gee, aren’t their investigative skills impressive?
    Why didn’t Goodell just tell the AP Cushing had failed a drug test and was looking at a suspension to avoid these concerns about stripping the award? Wasn’t he worried that having the defensive ROY suspended for juicing would “stain the shield”? (Sounds like Tomlin’s not the only one who thinks they’re living a Russell Crowe movie.)

  37. It’s tough to get caught. You have to be really stupid… which he’s not… or really mega-juiced… which he is.

  38. The NFL doesn’t award the ROYs. Those awards are given out by the Associated Press … and gee, aren’t their investigative skills impressive?
    You’d think Goodell would simply have told the AP Cushing had failed a drug test in September and was looking at a suspension. That would have eliminated any concern about stripping the award. Wasn’t he concerned that having the defensive ROY suspended for juicing would “stain the shield”? (Every time I hear that goofy phrase I think Tomlin’s not the only NFL guy who thinks he’s living a Russell Crowe movie.)

  39. That’s actually encouraging. If he got caught and still performed at a high level after that, it goes to show you that he was fine without whatever it was… just like the Pats were fine without the dumb videotapes.

  40. Strip him of all awards. It’s not fair to all the other outstanding rookies who did it clean.

  41. Matthews and Cushing both tested positive for a steroid masking agent. They did not test positive for steroids. Big difference!

  42. don’t u think the NFL hid this info because they didn’t want it to come out, just like they didn’t suspend him after a failed drug test until next season
    whos the idiot now
    —————————————————————
    “whos (sic) the idiot now?” I’d say the one who thinks that draft is somehow held in september (when Cushing tested positive) gets dibs on that title. Remember when you said this report occurred before the draft?

  43. Should he not be fined or the bonus revoked for a Pro Bowl appearance since the positive test early in the year? Thought they changed the rule, positive test you don’t qualify for the Pro Bowl but since he already played in it should the money he received for that be taken out of future pay?

  44. If i were zach miller from the oakland raiders i would sue the nfl for allowing him to play juiced up because he got a concussion from cushing.

  45. He failed the test before the awards were given out. How did he even get considered?

  46. Hey WarrenMoonGoat, who’s the idiot now???
    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2009/04/22/nfldraftbiblecom-retracts-drug-reports-apologizes/
    You have no clue. If they did test positive during the combine, why isn’t Matthews suspended? Besides that, Cushing failed a test for a “related substance” which could be from one of many banned substances. Substances that he could have legally taken before he entered the NFL because there are a lot more restrictions on supplements AND he was tested as a member of the NFL in September.
    Get a clue before you spout off about what you think the facts are. The reason the suspension is at the beginning of the upcoming season is because of the APPEALS PROCESS you idiot!

  47. Just because he most likely stopped taking whatever it was in September doesn’t mean he automatically stopped reaping the benefits from it for the remainder of the year. Would be interesting to see how his stats progressed or regressed throughout the end of the season, too lazy to do so though.
    Deb:
    Due to the league confidentiality rules with failed tests Goodell wouldn’t be able to tell the AP, especially while the appeal was ongoing, especially if there were any chance Cushing could’ve won said appeal.

  48. I would guess 90% of NFL players are on or have been on the juice or another performance enhancing drug at some point in their lifetimes.

  49. zappa
    if by clay matthews and brian cushing, you mean, kevin williams and pat williams, then, you are right

  50. Where is our moral authority Florio on this one? He ought to be banging the drum loudly for days to come about this one. Something is up when a positive drug test in September isn’t penalized until the NEXT season. And then you have the whole issue of this player cheating during a season in which he went to the Pro Bowl and won DROY.
    There is plenty here for Florio to chew on. I expect him to go at this one like Dez Bryant’s mom (bazinga!).

  51. Cushing should have the award taken away, and it should go to Clay Matthews. If he was found to be juicing too, then Orakpo, then Byrd.

  52. WTF? Shame on the NFL! They allowed someone who they knew was on steroids to play a full season anyway? Think about all the players who Cushing hurt during that season. I the illegal hit on Zach Miller caused a serious concussion that Miller never really recovered from.
    I believe an investigation needs to be launched by congress. This is completely unacceptable and outright dangerous. The NFL is protecting their image and not their players. What a disgrace.

  53. WHY does the appeals process take so effing long? I mean what all is there to appeal? “I took this and it’s on the list of banned substances and I had a physician’s scrip for it for allergies (or whatever)” could really be the only defense no? If you tested positive for it and didn’t take it, you have to prove you took something else that created the positive test. Either way, doesn’t seem like it should take 9 mos to do that.
    And yeah his DPOY should be stripped and given to Byrd or Orakpo or whoever in a re-vote. And he shouldn’t be allowed to win anything this year or make the PB which I think is already in place thanks to Sterriman.

  54. I am a Texans fan.
    I hate every other team and every other team’s players.
    I forgive Brian Cushing for cheating [this ONCE], however, his punishment should be to forfeit the first 4 weeks game checks, his defensive ROTY award, and have to pee in a cup before every game while a dude is looking–for every game of his year from now on.
    You look like a dumbass and a jerk, Cush. Don’t make me look like a jerk for standing next to you.
    Give the award to Orakpo. Show Cushing some interviews with Lyle Alzado, then have Neil Rackers kick him in the balls. ‘That’s for the fans.’

  55. @rskills …
    After I commented (twice because the first time I had a “moveable type error” 🙂 I also realized Goodell couldn’t tell them because of the HIPPA medical confidentiality laws. But still … the AP knew the rumors about the failed test at the Combine. Since there were other deserving candidates, it seems they would have avoided the one with the question marks. And since Cushing didn’t file his appeal until February, I don’t understand why Goodell didn’t suspend him immediately instead of waiting until the following season–especially since there already had been an incident at the Combine. Seems the whole situation was mishandled.

  56. whether those tests were real before the combine or after the guy was on roids
    stop tryna defend your boy

  57. For all the talk from Goodell about “tarnishing the shield”- i would say giving a top award to a person the league KNOWS to be taking steriods, does a better job “tarnishing the shield” than a players illegal actions in the offseason.
    The results for the possible rape falls on the player. The cushing situation is a systemic failure of the NFL itself failing to control the steriod problem in the league while actually providing players incentives to use.

  58. “Matthews and Cushing both tested positive for a steroid masking agent. They did not test positive for steroids. Big difference! ”
    Not really. The masking agents are on the banned list as well. If they were players in the NFL, they would have been suspended. Because they were just draftees, the NFL rules didn’t apply. But the teams knew about the masking agents, and Let The Buyer Beware applied.

  59. Wow- the league really bent over for a white guy. Gave him the award and everything. Just “w’w”!

  60. Why was he playing 2009 with an advantage NFL? Knowing what you knew, you cheated the fans, the players, and you made the one’s who voted for him look like idiots.

  61. CJV123 says:
    May 10, 2010 1:36 PM
    Wow- the league really bent over for a white guy. Gave him the award and everything. Just “w’w”!
    =================
    You mean like they did for a non-white guy in Merriman? He got away with it for a much longer time than Cushing did. But go ahead, make it about race when it’s not.

  62. Deb-
    I don’t disagree with you there, it’s kind of like hiring someone for a job, if all three look candidates are good you’d probably want to avoid the one with any sort of red flags. But at the same time since nothing was ever confirmed/proven I can’t fully blame them.
    As for the delay I can’t really call it, I feel there will be more info to come along. I know with the drug policy it takes two failings (not including the combine, though I believe that subjects them to more testings), before a suspension comes along, though it may different with steroids.
    I definitely don’t think Goodell was sitting on it because Cushing is white as others have suggested or some sort of goldmine. He always seemed to be another victim of the east coast media “bias” to me. I didn’t know he had a big year until he was named DROY.

  63. @rskills …
    I don’t think Goodell sat on it because Cushing is white. For some bizarre reason, most of PFT Planet thinks Pacman Jones was never arrested or convicted prior to his suspension. But he’d had three years of arrests, probation, suspended sentences, and community service. You don’t get probation, suspended sentences, etc., unless you’re convicted or plead guilty. So considering how long Goodell sat on that, I don’t think this is a race issue. But it is a problem for the reasons HandsofSweed listed–it could have ended up influencing the playoffs.
    I didn’t realize Cushing was having that kind of year either, but that’s because he plays for the Texans. Don’t mean to be disrespectful, but in my head they’re still an expansion team and kind of on the periphery of my radar.

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