Mettenberger attributes dilute sample to ACL rehab


As LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger prepares for the draft, he has a complication to the process unrelated to his torn ACL.

Mettenberger generated a dilute urine sample at the Scouting Combine.

The NFL’s drug-testing policies typically treat a diluted sample as a positive sample.

Mettenberger’s physical therapist, Jason Eliowitz, attributes the positive test to efforts to combat dehydration.  Eliowitz explains in the letter to Dr. Lawrence Brown that Mettenberger “was experiencing frequent muscle cramping during the day as well as at night while trying to sleep.”  Thus, Mettenberger was advised to drink “as much as 1 to 1.5 gallons of of water per day, to increase his consumption of foods high in potassium, and to increase his sodium intake.”

It’s unclear whether this will shield Mettenberger from the substance-abuse program upon arrival at the NFL.  More importantly, it’s unknown whether teams will accept the explanation and not regard the outcome as a red flag regarding efforts to mask either drug use or, given his effort to recover quickly from a torn ACL, the use of performance-enhancing substances.

51 responses to “Mettenberger attributes dilute sample to ACL rehab

  1. Let the fun begin!!!!

    I heard Clowney likes the doobage, he should drop the the Texans in the 3rd round. 😉

  2. I don’t know about this generation of young men. Son if you want to be a professional in this league, you better stay away from the nightclubs and quit drinking so much water!

  3. I am confused… Did the water “go through him”? Or did he add water to his sample. Seems if the first, then that should be fair game. Kidneys are definitely the unsung hero Organ!

  4. Easy fix for the NFL. Add a rule proscribing how much water a player is allowed to drink during a set period.

    That’ll fix it. *sigh*

  5. Mark Cuban was right about the NFL getting to big for it’s own good- it started with the pushing back of the draft until may, it is rediculous to makes these kids wait so long to get on a team.

    Talk about a publicity stunt. Think about it, the more mock drafts the more $$

  6. 1.5 gallons of water a day seems like a lot of water to drink when he has to perform at his very best in all his Combine drills.
    I wouldn’t want to be trying to run the best 40, best vertical jump, best broad jump, etc of my life with a big bloated belly full of water. Sound like water hoarding torture.
    Big Zach either got poor advice from the experts who were probably hired to have him at his peak for the Combine or maybe he had something he wanted to hide.

  7. I think people are missing the point, he says that his sample was diluted because he was drinking so much water. Who knows if that’s really true. He could have diluted his sample because of the fear he would not pass the drug test. Diluted samples do not produce conclusive results or could result in falsely testing negative which is why diluted samples are seen as positive tests. I’m not going to accuse Mettenberger of anything, but there is a reason why this is an issue.

  8. A gallon of water is not that hard to drink in a day. Ask anybody who goes to a gym and lifts seriously. Or, go to any weightlifting website. They will all say that drinking a gallon of water a day is the minimum you should shoot for. I’m surprised he was advised to increase his consumption to what is regarded as the standard minimum.

  9. Great, another LSU QB that will rake the NFL for millions — J. Russell and M. Flynn.

  10. 1.5 gallons is 192 ounces or 12 pints. For health they suggest 64 ounces of water per day (8 -8 ounce servings).

    This was done to mask the illegal substances he needed to speed up his recovery – nothing else

  11. Im a little confused, you people realize that masking agents are a multimillion dollar business, right? Guilty people have been blaming the testing and the process for as long as there has been testing and a process.

  12. They will have the level of dilution, I agree with previous posters that he was hiding something to recover. No agent is stupid enough to risk just an opinion, it will be in writing and legal actions can be taken against said recommendation.

    I would avoid this kid, he has so many character problems, and outside his arm is slow at every aspect of the game.

  13. I drink at least 1.25 gallons of water every single day. Usually it’s closer to 1.5 gallons. And I am no where near as physically active as an NFL prospect rushing an ACL rehab would be. My urine is as clear as the water I drink.

    His explanation is completely plausible. The NFL needs better testing guidelines for cases like this. Assuming he diluted his urine because it would come up hot is just guess work.

  14. Anyone else bothered by the fact that taking hgh to help a torn acl heal is a bad thing? If it makes your torn ligament better why the hell is it bad? Some day the nfl will catch up with modern medicine.

  15. Maybe the NFL should postpone the draft for another week or 10 days to give teams enough time to investigate stuff like this.

    We need more information.

  16. He didn’t work out at the Combine. So why was he dehydrated and drinking all this water?????

  17. It doesn’t really matter what happened. This is the NFL. If a MLB player gets nailed and suspended for 50 games, he is scum of the earth to the fans. With a NFL player, it’s “how soon will he be back. We need him bad.”

  18. I’d believe the guy if he had a “clean” past…but that’s diluted as well.

  19. Don’t Most high level athletes drink that amount of water all the time? I know I was drinking a gallon of water when I was heavy into working out.

  20. So, drinking water is illegal?

    Poland Spring stock must have dropped on this news…

  21. Oh yeah, drinking a gallon of water right before you go to bed is gonna help you “while trying to sleep.” LSU edumacation at work there…

  22. Sounds like his body is addicted to water. Water addicts are the worst.

  23. Pretty sure you can’t test for HGH in urine. I thought it required bloodtesting? I have heard even the blood tests are not 100% reliable. If he was hiding something, it wasn’t HGH.

  24. This guy needs to be avoided by all teams — kicked off Georgia for Sexual Assault and other charges, then he says God must have had other plans for him when he is fortunate enough to get a chance by LSU Now he has failed a drug test only weeks before the draft, this kid may have great athletic abilities but he doesn’t have an ounce of brains. I’ve had several procedures done on my knees — my Orthopedic never suggested drinking a gallon and a half of water per day.

    Guys coming out of college for the draft need to be ineligible for the draft and supplementals for that year if they bust a drug test. No appeals.

  25. Anyone that actually believes Mettenberger’s explanation is either really dumb or hopelessly naïve. A diluted sample cannot be derived from simply drinking a lot of water. A diluted sample means it was tampered with. And the only person who would tamper would be someone about to test positive. Just ask Ryan Braun.

  26. It’s pretty stupid. Most physicians say you should drink as much water as possible everyday whether or not you are in treatment. So, the NFL is saying for those that are drinking so much water they must be masking drug intake. Really Goodell?

  27. I’m not siding with the NFL on this one YET however according to the NFL diluting does mean fail.

  28. So most of you are saying that every person that works out drinks that amount of water in a day. Why then, was it only a few dumb-asses who tested too diluted? Players already in the NFL work out harder than these college kids and don’t get tagged for diluted samples. Because there is a range of numbers the specific gravity of the sample needs to fall in, and the NFL surely adjusts that range to account for the activity the players are involved in. To generate a sample too diluted for testing, your system has to be purposely overloaded with water so that there is no time for toxins or drug markers to be infused into your urine in either your kidneys or bladder before expulsion.

  29. Everybody knows the easiest way to make sure you don’t test positive on a drug test is to essentially, piss water. The guys obviously lying but I mean, it’s gonna be legal within 5 years so why worry about it?

  30. All of YOU people who doubt that this can actually happen apparently have not consulted with a urologist.

    I did – I have one and he stated absolutely your urine will be concentrated with less fluid and more diluted with more fluid. The larger the fluid intake, the more diluted the urine.

    Water dilutes the urine more than Gatorade, Kool-Aid, etc., because it has no additives and enters your body in its natural state.

    Don’t believe me – do a little googling or ask a urologist, then you can post with actual facts, not fiction.

  31. For all of you naysayers get a grip and a life. Zack’s turned his life around and is not the same guy that he was. It really ticks me off when the media jumps to conclusions when they should wait to find out facts before reportin their take on somethin. The media and various sports channels have a way of killin a guy’s carrer fore it even gets started or let alone gives the guy a chance to redeem himself. Before judgin somebody walk in their shoes, live the life they’ve lived and then come back and see if you don’t have a better prospective as to what they’re all about. You just might find out you’re no better than they are: they put their pants on one leg at a time just as you do.

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