Brian Cushing’s personal trainer backs away from DHEA story

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Last week, Brian Cushing‘s longtime personal trainer said that Cushing tested positive for DHEA, a supplement that is legal in the United States but banned under the NFL’s performance-enhancing substances policy. This week, that trainer backed away from that story.

Joe DeFranco, a personal trainer who has worked with Cushing throughout the Texans linebacker’s high school, college and NFL careers, said on his podcast last week that Cushing tested positive for PEDs because he took DHEA. But within hours, DeFranco took the podcast down. And on his podcast this week, DeFranco addressed the matter only cryptically, declining to confirm or deny the accuracy of his previous statement.

“Last week’s show basically disappeared a couple hours after it was posted,” DeFranco said. “One second the podcast was there and then the next second it was gone. So I apologize for that. I was asked to take the podcast down. I’m not going to discuss why. To be honest, I’m still kind of confused as to why and the whole situation. All I’ll say is, it was one of those things that was completely out of my control. I’m just going to leave it at that.”

Cushing has neither confirmed nor denied his trainer’s story that the banned substance he took was DHEA. The NFL has declined to comment on the matter.

Although DHEA is a legal supplement sold in many nutrition stores, it is banned by the NFL and many other sports leagues. DeFranco said Cushing knows DHEA is banned and took it anyway.

Cushing was suspended 10 games because it was the second positive performance-enhancing drug test of his NFL career. After his first positive test, for HCG, Cushing claimed he hadn’t taken the substance and said overtraining must have changed the hormone levels in his body. After this more recent positive test, Cushing apologized and didn’t offer any excuses.