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SanAntonioSteelerFan
05-13-2010, 12:19 AM
... after a positive drug test?

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/13/sport ... drugs.html (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/13/sports/football/13drugs.html)





May 12, 2010
In Revote, Cushing Keeps Award
By JUDY BATTISTA

Brian Cushing won the N.F.L.’s defensive rookie of the year award in January. Last week it was learned that Cushing, a linebacker for the Houston Texans, tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug in September. And on Wednesday voters gave the award to Cushing anyway.

In a revote conducted by a panel of news media members organized by The Associated Press, Cushing lost 21 of the 39 votes he had garnered in the original landslide vote, but 18 members of the news media who cover the N.F.L. still voted for him. It was enough for Cushing to beat Buffalo Bills safety Jairus Byrd, who received 13 votes, and Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews III, who had 10.

Byrd, who received six votes in January, and Matthews, who had three, picked up the most votes the second time around. Of the 50 voters, one was not available to vote and two abstained. Reporters for The New York Times do not participate in the voting for the award.

The endorsement by those who cover the N.F.L. for a player who was known to have failed a drug test for a performance enhancer is sure to ignite a debate about whether performance-enhancing drugs are taken less seriously in the N.F.L. — and by some of the people who cover it — than they are in baseball.

Baseball came much later to drug testing than the N.F.L. did, but in recent years some baseball writers have taken a hard line with players who have failed tests or are suspected of using performance-enhancing drugs. Mark McGwire, who only recently admitted using steroids when he played, has failed to receive even 24 percent of the vote in his four years on the Hall of Fame ballot — well short of the 75 percent needed for enshrinement — even though he is tied for eighth with 583 career home runs.

The Hall of Fame is a far more exalted honor than one for defensive rookie of the year, but still, the vote for Cushing was telling.

John McClain, who covers the Texans and the N.F.L. for The Houston Chronicle, offered his reason on Twitter for voting for Cushing again: “I vote Kevin Williams All-Pro every year knowing he tested positive. I voted for Peppers in ’02.”

Williams is Minnesota’s defensive tackle whose violation of the N.F.L.’s performance-enhancing drug policy led to the StarCaps case making its way through the court system. Julius Peppers was the defensive rookie of the year in 2002, even though he missed four games because of a suspension for failing a drug test. Cushing is suspended for the first four games of the 2010 season.

Some voters kept their votes with Cushing in part because they blamed the N.F.L. for allowing them to vote for a player who it knew had failed a drug test early in the season, but kept that information quiet during the appeals process.

Others said they were uncomfortable with the decision to have a second vote at all and with its being rushed in two days. Ed Bouchette, who covers the Steelers for The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, switched his vote, to Cushing from Byrd, as a kind of protest because he disagreed with the revoting. Chris Mortensen, ESPN’s N.F.L. reporter, said on his Twitter feed that he had abstained from the second vote (he voted for Cushing the first time) because he was uncomfortable with the process and uncomfortable with voting for Cushing.

Fallout from the vote may raise the issue of whether journalists in any sport should be voting for league awards.

Cushing tested positive for hCG, a hormone that helps jump-start a body’s production of testosterone and restore its virility. It is banned by sports organizations because it is often used by people who are coming off a cycle of steroid use.

David Goldberg, a longtime N.F.L. writer for The Associated Press who now writes for AOL FanHouse, said he voted for Matthews after voting for Cushing the first time.

“Dropping him was an easy decision,” Goldberg said, adding: “I have yet to see a player suspended for performance-enhancing drugs who doesn’t say, ‘I didn’t know what I was taking.’ I also don’t buy the argument that the revote is changing the rules and opening up a slippery slope. Baseball instituted replay in midseason and drug testing after the horse was out of the barn.”

Bob Glauber, the N.F.L. writer for Newsday, changed his vote to Byrd from Cushing.

“As a voter, I want to have all the information,” he said. “That was obviously critical information that we didn’t have at the time of the vote. Yes, it’s a little unusual that it’s so late, but to me it’s still better to at least have a chance to get it right. I find it almost impossible to vote for someone who was caught cheating in the N.F.L.’s eyes.”

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And what kind of cr*p thinking is that ^^, Douchette? Really made his point, didn't he :wft :? Why not just abstain?

birtikidis
05-13-2010, 01:36 AM
what ticks me off is that he failed the test in SEPTEMBER and they didn't do crap about it. HE FAILED. BLACK AND WHITE NO GUESSING. and they didn't suspend him. meanwhile 3 days after we find out that a guy wasn't even gonna get charged with a crime he gets suspended... what kind of crap is that.

hawaiiansteel
05-13-2010, 03:38 AM
our Ed Bouchette actually changed his vote TO Brian Cushing...that's interesting.



AP NFL Defensive Rookie Voter Breakdown

By The Associated Press, New selection in parentheses



KEPT BRIAN CUSHING(notes) (17)
Don Banks, Sports Illustrated.com
Bob Berger, Sporting News Radio
Chris Berman, ESPN
Steve Cohen, Sirius Satellite Radio
Frank Cooney, SportsXChange
Mark Craig, Minneapolis Star Tribune
Tom Curran, Comcast Sportsnet
Vinny Ditrani, The Record
Rick Gosselin, Dallas Morning News
Paul Gutierrez, Sacramento Bee
Clark Judge, CBSSports.com
John McClain, Houston Chronicle
Gary Myers, New York Daily News
Danny O'Neil, Seattle Times
Pete Prisco, CBSSports.com
Adam Teicher, Kansas City Star
Charean Williams Fort Worth Star-Telegram

KEPT JAIRUS BYRD(notes) (4)
Brian Allee-Walsh, New Orleans.com
Paul Domowitch, Philadelphia Daily News
Ashley Fox, Philadelphia Inquirer
Armando Salguero, Miami Herald

KEPT CLAY MATTHEWS(notes) (3)
Jim Corbett, USA Today
Tony Grossi, Cleveland Plain Dealer
Kent Somers, Arizona Republic

CHANGED TO BRIAN CUSHING (1)
Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Jairus Byrd)

CHANGED FROM BRIAN CUSHING (19)
Jarrett Bell, USA Today (Jairus Byrd)
Clifton Brown, The Sporting News (Jairus Byrd)
Rich Cimini, New York Daily News (Clay Matthews)
John Clayton, ESPN The Magazine (Clay Matthews)
Bob Costas, HBO/NBC Sports (Clay Matthews)
John Czarnecki, Fox Sports (Brian Orakpo(notes))
Boomer Esiason, CBS/Westwood One (Jairus Byrd)
Mark Gaughan, Buffalo News (Jairus Byrd)
Nancy Gay, AOL Fanhouse (Jairus Byrd)
Bob Glauber, Newsday (Jairus Byrd)
Dave Goldberg, AOL Fanhouse (Clay Matthews)
Ira Kaufman, Tampa Tribune (Jairus Byrd)
Peter King, Sports Illustrated (Clay Matthews)
Matt Maiocco, Santa Rosa Press Democrat (Clay Matthews)
Alex Marvez, Foxsports.com (Jairus Byrd)
Pat McManamon, Akron Beacon Journal (Jairus Byrd)
Dan Pompei, Chicago Tribune (Clay Matthews)
Adam Schein, Sirius NFL Radio (Brian Orakpo)
Frank Schwab, Colorado Springs Gazette (Clay Matthews)

ABSTAINED (3)
Howie Long, Fox Sports
Chris Mortensen, ESPN
Tom Silverstein, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
Note: All had Cushing in the original balloting.

CHANGED FROM JAIRUS BYRD (2)
Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Brian Cushing)
David Elfin, Washington Times (Brian Orakpo)

CHANGED FROM BRIAN ORAKPO (2)
Howard Balzer, Fox Sports Net (James Laurinaitis(notes))
Len Shapiro, Miami Herald (Clay Matthews)

SteelAbility
05-13-2010, 08:14 AM
I think the various POY voting needs to come AFTER the drug test results so as to get rid of any potential drama and controversy. But I guess the league and media won't have any of that. :roll:

SteelAbility
05-13-2010, 08:16 AM
Cushing is the <insert robot voice> DROYd. You know, triple entendre. :P

Ghost
05-13-2010, 10:08 AM
The appeals process is broken and ridiculous.

If you were a player and you knew for sure you were in your last season why not take a ton of different banned substances (morals notwithstanding)? Take them, and then when you test positive, you fight it and the appeals process isn't finished until February. By then you're laying on the beach and hitting the links.

RuthlessBurgher
05-13-2010, 10:17 AM
What is up with the people who changed their vote, but Cushing wasn't involved either before or now? Because there is a re-vote since Cushing was caught doping, I'm going to change my vote from Byrd to Orakpo (Elfin) or from Orakpo to Laurinaitus (Balzer) or from Orakpo to Matthews (Shapiro). What changed for these guys in the past few months?

:wft

flippy
05-13-2010, 11:39 AM
The appeals process is broken and ridiculous.

If you were a player and you knew for sure you were in your last season why not take a ton of different banned substances (morals notwithstanding)? Take them, and then when you test positive, you fight it and the appeals process isn't finished until February. By then you're laying on the beach and hitting the links.

How exactly is Bret Favre playing in his 40s?

SteelAbility
05-13-2010, 11:42 AM
The appeals process is broken and ridiculous.

If you were a player and you knew for sure you were in your last season why not take a ton of different banned substances (morals notwithstanding)? Take them, and then when you test positive, you fight it and the appeals process isn't finished until February. By then you're laying on the beach and hitting the links.

How exactly is Bret Favre playing in his 40s?

Pretty well, actually. :lol:

Ghost
05-13-2010, 03:38 PM
The appeals process is broken and ridiculous.

If you were a player and you knew for sure you were in your last season why not take a ton of different banned substances (morals notwithstanding)? Take them, and then when you test positive, you fight it and the appeals process isn't finished until February. By then you're laying on the beach and hitting the links.

How exactly is Bret Favre playing in his 40s?

As if the NFL tests Farve....

Jom112
05-13-2010, 03:46 PM
What is up with the people who changed their vote, but Cushing wasn't involved either before or now? Because there is a re-vote since Cushing was caught doping, I'm going to change my vote from Byrd to Orakpo (Elfin) or from Orakpo to Laurinaitus (Balzer) or from Orakpo to Matthews (Shapiro). What changed for these guys in the past few months?

:wft

Maybe some of them were using Rey Lewis's official scorer and got some more tackles after the season ended?





How exactly is Bret Favre playing in his 40s?

As if the NFL tests Farve....

Brad Childress probably pee's for him...

flippy
05-13-2010, 04:10 PM
Didn't the whizzinator get it's start in Minny with onterrio smith?

And didn't some other Vikings have some drug problems recently too?

It's only a matter of time until the NFL figures out Childress is peeing for Favre.....

Sugar
05-13-2010, 04:54 PM
Seeing as I don't think they should be testing for PE's anyway, it doesn't bother me at all. Matt seemed to be the best defensive player throughout the year, so he should get the award, IMO.

calmkiller
05-13-2010, 05:09 PM
I have no problem with it. I am actually glad Cushing retained the award. The recount was uncalled for in my opinion. He didn't even test positive for a Steroid. It didn't effect his play during the year. Complete crap.

RuthlessBurgher
05-13-2010, 07:27 PM
Seeing as I don't think they should be testing for PE's anyway, it doesn't bother me at all. Matt seemed to be the best defensive player throughout the year, so he should get the award, IMO.

There shouldn't be testing for performance enhancers? Seriously?

So you think players should be able to take whatever drugs they want??? Anabolic steroids encouraged! Human growth hormone freely available in the locker room for all!

:wft

http://www.hulu.com/watch/4090/saturday-night-live-weekend-update-all-drug-olympics

By the way, Matt Cushing was a former TE for the Steelers. Brian Cushing is the linebacker for the Texans.

RuthlessBurgher
05-13-2010, 07:35 PM
I have no problem with it. I am actually glad Cushing retained the award. The recount was uncalled for in my opinion. He didn't even test positive for a Steroid. It didn't effect his play during the year. Complete crap.

Umm...it's a female fertility drug. The only reason for a male athlete to take it is to get their body back to making its usual hormones naturally again after coming off cycle of steroids. It's not like he got caught with Nyquil in his system or something like that. So they didn't test him when he was doing the steroids in the offseason...they tested him when he happened to be taking the drug that helps you cycle off of steroids in September. Juicers typically take steroids to bulk themselves up when they work out in the offseason, not during the season itself. Manny Ramirez was busted for the same thing.

calmkiller
05-14-2010, 12:29 AM
I have no problem with it. I am actually glad Cushing retained the award. The recount was uncalled for in my opinion. He didn't even test positive for a Steroid. It didn't effect his play during the year. Complete crap.

Umm...it's a female fertility drug. The only reason for a male athlete to take it is to get their body back to making its usual hormones naturally again after coming off cycle of steroids. It's not like he got caught with Nyquil in his system or something like that. So they didn't test him when he was doing the steroids in the offseason...they tested him when he happened to be taking the drug that helps you cycle off of steroids in September. Juicers typically take steroids to bulk themselves up when they work out in the offseason, not during the season itself. Manny Ramirez was busted for the same thing.

The body makes it naturally after a male ejaculates. So its not completely true. If he....happened to do that shortly before, then there would be heightened levels.

Sugar
05-14-2010, 10:38 AM
Seeing as I don't think they should be testing for PE's anyway, it doesn't bother me at all. Matt seemed to be the best defensive player throughout the year, so he should get the award, IMO.

There shouldn't be testing for performance enhancers? Seriously?

So you think players should be able to take whatever drugs they want??? Anabolic steroids encouraged! Human growth hormone freely available in the locker room for all!

:wft


Yep, that pretty much sums it up. I think that they should be able to take whatever they feel makes them better at what they do. People in many fields take PE's of various kinds. The documentary "Bigger, Stronger, Faster" really delves into what happens with steriods and PE's in general. As long as they are educated about what they're doing, I'm cool with it.

frankthetank1
05-14-2010, 11:33 AM
Seeing as I don't think they should be testing for PE's anyway, it doesn't bother me at all. Matt seemed to be the best defensive player throughout the year, so he should get the award, IMO.

There shouldn't be testing for performance enhancers? Seriously?

So you think players should be able to take whatever drugs they want??? Anabolic steroids encouraged! Human growth hormone freely available in the locker room for all!

:wft


Yep, that pretty much sums it up. I think that they should be able to take whatever they feel makes them better at what they do. People in many fields take PE's of various kinds. The documentary "Bigger, Stronger, Faster" really delves into what happens with steriods and PE's in general. As long as they are educated about what they're doing, I'm cool with it.

steroids ruined baseball though. if players were allowed to juice it would be a disaster. i know it was fine back in the day, but im sure there have been a ton of changes in the drugs themselves since the 70's. steroids are awful for the human body, that has been proven many times. it doesnt matter if a player is educated about it because the long term affects of steroids are awful. i would bet anything jose canseco will have some serious health problems sooner rather than later and he is suppose to be an expert on the subject.

i have known a lot of guys that use to juice for strongman competitions and football. all of them regret it now because they have a ton of health problems.

birtikidis
05-14-2010, 12:16 PM
Seeing as I don't think they should be testing for PE's anyway, it doesn't bother me at all. Matt seemed to be the best defensive player throughout the year, so he should get the award, IMO.

There shouldn't be testing for performance enhancers? Seriously?

So you think players should be able to take whatever drugs they want??? Anabolic steroids encouraged! Human growth hormone freely available in the locker room for all!

:wft


Yep, that pretty much sums it up. I think that they should be able to take whatever they feel makes them better at what they do. People in many fields take PE's of various kinds. The documentary "Bigger, Stronger, Faster" really delves into what happens with steriods and PE's in general. As long as they are educated about what they're doing, I'm cool with it.
as a guy who played football and who coached for many years.... this is probably the single most retarded thing I've ever heard... As a coach, the last thing I would allow to happen is to sit back and watch as a young man destroyed themselves... how absolutely asinine.

RuthlessBurgher
05-14-2010, 12:27 PM
Seeing as I don't think they should be testing for PE's anyway, it doesn't bother me at all. Matt seemed to be the best defensive player throughout the year, so he should get the award, IMO.

There shouldn't be testing for performance enhancers? Seriously?

So you think players should be able to take whatever drugs they want??? Anabolic steroids encouraged! Human growth hormone freely available in the locker room for all!

:wft


Yep, that pretty much sums it up. I think that they should be able to take whatever they feel makes them better at what they do. People in many fields take PE's of various kinds. The documentary "Bigger, Stronger, Faster" really delves into what happens with steriods and PE's in general. As long as they are educated about what they're doing, I'm cool with it.

Wow...just wow. Try Googling "bodybuilder deaths" or "wrestler deaths" to see what unabashed abuse of steroids can do to the human body. I don't need to see 7' tall 400+ lbs guys who can run under 5 seconds in the 40 bash each other around for my amusement if means that many of them will die before they even make it to the halfway point of life expectancy for the typical American. Goodell is bashed for many things, but I must say that cracking down even further on PED's is something he should be applauded for. Many guys will do anything...ANYTHING...to gain even the slightest advantage, and I think we should come down hard on them for the integrity of the sport, and to protect these guys from themselves.

birtikidis
05-14-2010, 12:29 PM
well said RB, I completely agree.

BradshawsHairdresser
05-14-2010, 02:33 PM
Seeing as I don't think they should be testing for PE's anyway, it doesn't bother me at all. Matt seemed to be the best defensive player throughout the year, so he should get the award, IMO.

There shouldn't be testing for performance enhancers? Seriously?

So you think players should be able to take whatever drugs they want??? Anabolic steroids encouraged! Human growth hormone freely available in the locker room for all!

:wft


Yep, that pretty much sums it up. I think that they should be able to take whatever they feel makes them better at what they do. People in many fields take PE's of various kinds. The documentary "Bigger, Stronger, Faster" really delves into what happens with steriods and PE's in general. As long as they are educated about what they're doing, I'm cool with it.

Wow...just wow. Try Googling "bodybuilder deaths" or "wrestler deaths" to see what unabashed abuse of steroids can do to the human body. I don't need to see 7' tall 400+ lbs guys who can run under 5 seconds in the 40 bash each other around for my amusement if means that many of them will die before they even make it to the halfway point of life expectancy for the typical American. Goodell is bashed for many things, but I must say that cracking down even further on PED's is something he should be applauded for. Many guys will do anything...ANYTHING...to gain even the slightest advantage, and I think we should come down hard on them for the integrity of the sport, and to protect these guys from themselves.
:Agree :Agree :Agree

SanAntonioSteelerFan
05-14-2010, 09:13 PM
Well, I think he should have been forced to forfeit this award for using a PED. I don't even know if it was illegal, but IMO it was against the integrity of the game. [That chemical goes up in pregnancy, however. He said in his news conference that he was very concerned that there may be something horribly wrong with his body, and he was going to get a complete checkup. I guess I'd give him a pass if he turned out to be pregnant. :? ]

I think that other point of view is defendable as well, though. It's a free country, if someone makes an informed decision to abuse their body, aware of the potential bad consequences, why not let them? We let people make less than the wisest choices for themselves all the time - think motorcycles (!), tobacco, excess alcohol, too many Big Macs - why draw the line at PED's?

My answer would be "think of the kids!" ... the pressure to take PEDs and "stay competitive" may be too much for your average young athlete who may NOT have the perspective to make an informed decision.

My 3c!

fordfixer
05-15-2010, 01:07 AM
Harris: NFL media fail their drug test
By John Harris, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, May 15, 2010
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 81304.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_681304.html)

My apologies to Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.

They deserve better.

Their records should be safe, their good names intact.

They said they didn't cheat while playing baseball, so I guess they didn't cheat.

What if they did?

What does it matter after a nationwide panel of sports writers and broadcasters who cover the NFL made a mockery of our supposed angst over the misuse of performance-enhancing drugs in sports?

Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing tested positive in September for human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), a banned hormone used by some athletes as a masking agent after steroid use.

Cushing was suspended for the first four games of the 2010 season. The only reason he wasn't suspended last season is because the appeals process lasted until February.

In an unprecedented move, the Associated Press this week ordered a revote for its Defensive Rookie of the Year award won by Cushing -- for obvious reasons.

But apparently not obvious enough. Armed with evidence that Cushing cheated, many of the 50 voters rewarded him for breaking the rules.

Cushing didn't get the 39 votes he received the first time. Three voters abstained, and 19 switched from Cushing to another player.

Incredibly, 18 people voted for Cushing, including one who didn't vote for him the first time. What planet were they on?

Probably in the same solar system where Cushing resides.

During a news conference Thursday, Cushing, who has been the subject of steroid accusations since high school, said he didn't know how enough hCG made its way into his body for him to test positive.

"The question of how it got into my body is still unclear. I'm personally concerned ... just the fact of how it's there and what's going to deter it from happening again," Cushing said.

Yes, he actually said that.

And this: "It's unfortunate how certain people perceive things. It's unfortunate that with 23 years of hard work, it's something that people just want to take away like this."

He would have been more believable if he said aliens inhabited his body.

Cushing needs to grow up. At 23, he still has time to mature.

What's the media's excuse?

What happened to words like "honor" and "integrity" in sports? Does the word "hypocrite" ring a bell?

If Bonds had people in his corner like those 18 journalists who voted for Cushing the second time despite knowing better, he'd be a lock for Cooperstown.

Steroids? What steroids? Forget how Bonds transformed his body through years of performance-enhancing drug use -- just focus on him being the home run king.

That's the logic used by those who voted for Cushing.

You can't be a little bit pregnant, no more than you can be a little bit guilty of using illegal drugs.

You break the rules, you pay the price.

It's the American way.

You're not supposed to be rewarded for cheating, for goodness sake.

What message does that send to impressionable young athletes who idolize the likes of Cushing? Certainly not a good one.

At best, Cushing is a cheater who's running from the truth. So be it.

He doesn't need enablers in the media endorsing his illegal behavior.

Sugar
05-15-2010, 02:54 AM
Should pilots not take PED's then because they are harmful? What about musicians? What about military personell? I guess I'm just a bit more libertarian about the whole thing. If someone of age makes a decision to take something, then so be it, IMO. My brothers ran with all kinds of guys in the bodybuilding world as well as Navy SEALS, etc who take/took all kinds of things that would make the NFL blush. Some of them have suffered various consequences, but it's nothing that they weren't aware could happen.

hawaiiansteel
05-15-2010, 03:31 AM
Should pilots not take PED's then because they are harmful? What about musicians? What about military personell? I guess I'm just a bit more libertarian about the whole thing. If someone of age makes a decision to take something, then so be it, IMO. My brothers ran with all kinds of guys in the bodybuilding world as well as Navy SEALS, etc who take/took all kinds of things that would make the NFL blush. Some of them have suffered various consequences, but it's nothing that they weren't aware could happen.



except for one small, tiny detail - it is illegal to use PEDs in the NFL.

SanAntonioSteelerFan
05-15-2010, 06:51 AM
I agree 100% with what John Harris said.

Unfortunately, I think it is HIM and me and the others on this forum who also agree that are living on a different planet. Apparently on THIS planet performance is rewarded, even if the performance was "enhanced" by drugs.

This isn't the first time, right? ... didn't some defensive Charger stud a few years ago have almost exactly the same thing (award given - PED proven- suspended - but award kept)?

Steel Life
05-15-2010, 07:55 AM
Here's the thing, the rule is simple - don't get caught with these certain items in your system. All the protests & legal dancing don't matter, he was caught & he shouldn't be eligible to reap the rewards because the voting body wasn't aware of his infraction & subsequent suspension. All this hand-wringing by the voters over what kind of precedent it sets is BS...What kind of precedent have you set know? You've opened yourself up to criticism from Baseball of all things & now have given the public every right to suspect you of turning the other way where PEDs are concerned.

For all the care Goodell took in adjudicating Ben's situation, this is one where he just missed it. Goodell should've announced that Cushing was being stripped of his honor & the award should've automatically gone to Byrd. This will not go away & I hope that the NFL changes it's handling of these issues because with the influence of post-season awards & contractual guarantees, these suspensions need to be announced immediately - even while the appeal process is allowed to be carried out - so that the voters of post-season honors can have a complete picture before voting.

birtikidis
05-15-2010, 01:29 PM
Should pilots not take PED's then because they are harmful? What about musicians? What about military personell? I guess I'm just a bit more libertarian about the whole thing. If someone of age makes a decision to take something, then so be it, IMO. My brothers ran with all kinds of guys in the bodybuilding world as well as Navy SEALS, etc who take/took all kinds of things that would make the NFL blush. Some of them have suffered various consequences, but it's nothing that they weren't aware could happen.



except for one small, tiny detail - it is illegal to use PEDs in the NFL.
even more importantly is that nearly all PED's are ILLEGAL in the US...

Sugar
05-15-2010, 01:30 PM
Should pilots not take PED's then because they are harmful? What about musicians? What about military personell? I guess I'm just a bit more libertarian about the whole thing. If someone of age makes a decision to take something, then so be it, IMO. My brothers ran with all kinds of guys in the bodybuilding world as well as Navy SEALS, etc who take/took all kinds of things that would make the NFL blush. Some of them have suffered various consequences, but it's nothing that they weren't aware could happen.



except for one small, tiny detail - it is illegal to use PEDs in the NFL.

Understood. I don't think it ought to be a rule, but I don't believe in seatbelt laws either. We have to play the cards we're dealt. I just wish that people were more informed about the issue as opposed to imply following the herd and buying into the anti-PED propaganda out there.

SanAntonioSteelerFan
05-15-2010, 03:48 PM
Should pilots not take PED's then because they are harmful? What about musicians? What about military personell? I guess I'm just a bit more libertarian about the whole thing. If someone of age makes a decision to take something, then so be it, IMO. My brothers ran with all kinds of guys in the bodybuilding world as well as Navy SEALS, etc who take/took all kinds of things that would make the NFL blush. Some of them have suffered various consequences, but it's nothing that they weren't aware could happen.



except for one small, tiny detail - it is illegal to use PEDs in the NFL.

Understood. I don't think it ought to be a rule, but I don't believe in seatbelt laws either. We have to play the cards we're dealt. I just wish that people were more informed about the issue as opposed to imply following the herd and buying into the anti-PED propaganda out there.

I don't have a problem with that AS LONG AS ... people pay for their own trauma care, and life long disability care that would have been avoided if they'd worn it.

But the way it seems to work is that society (Medicare, etc.) pays for their decision. So it's really not a decision that affects only them.

hawaiiansteel
05-15-2010, 04:06 PM
Steinberg continues belated damage control for Cushing

Posted by Mike Florio on May 15, 2010 3:20 PM ET


More than a week after news emerged that Texans linebacker Brian Cushing will be suspended four games for violating the league's policy regarding anabolic steroids and related substances, Cushing's lawyer has launched a belated effort to prop up his client's tattered image.

In so doing, Harvey Steinberg is keeping alive a story that, for Cushing's sake, needs to finally die.

Steinberg, who inexplicably was silent until a day after Cushing gave the most damning steroids-related public remarks since Mark McGwire refused to talk about the past, is now talking a blue streak in the apparent hopes of reversing the perception that Cushing is a cheater and a liar -- or at a minimum in the hopes of giving the shrinking corps of Cushing's supporters some ammunition when arguing the player's case at the nearest water cooler.

Steinberg's latest remarks come via John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. For starters, Steinberg discloses that Cushing was tested not once but twice before the league concluded that he had tested positive for hCG. That fact, standing alone, isn't surprising. Under the steroids policy, 10 players per team per week are tested during the preseason and the regular season. Once the roster is trimmed to 53, the chances of being tested in any given week are one in 5.3.

Steinberg says the first test resulted in an "A" sample that was "barely over the discernible legal limit" for hCG. The "B" bottle -- containing the other portion of the urine sample -- was negative. (In this regard, Steinberg claims that the "B" bottle is tested by a different lab. He's incorrect. Under the policy, the "A" bottle and the "B" bottle are tested at the same lab, but by different technicians.)

Cushing then was tested again "several weeks later." (It's unclear whether Steinberg means "several weeks after collection" or "several weeks after the results came back." This is a critical distinction; if Cushing knew in advance of the second sample that there was an issue with hCG, he would have been able to take steps to get it out of his system, or as the case may be he could have purchased a pre-owned Whizzinator.) The second time around, the "A" bottle was positive, and the "B" bottle was positive.

"When we inquired about the level [of the new 'A' bottle], we were told it was about the same as the original 'A' bottle, the first test," Steinberg said. "We were operating under the premise that we may well get a negative 'B' bottle, which would render this test negative as well."

OK, let's pause for a second. It's unreasonable to assume that the second "B" sample would be negative simply because the first "B" sample was negative. The analysis of the "A" sample and "B" sample are the same. Two tests are used as a protection for the player. In this case, three out of four tests on two separate samples given by Cushing were positive for hCG. But since the "B" sample on the first test was negative, Cushing ultimately was slapped with only one "positive" test.

Steinberg, a skilled litigator who knows a thing or two about gently obscuring certain aspects of reality when talking to a jury, also seems to suggest that the second test was an effort to "get" Cushing. "We tried to discern why he tested positive and why were there two separate tests on two separate occasions for this particular banned substance," Steinberg said.

Here's why he was tested on two separate occasions: because the steroids policy contemplates that 10 names randomly will be drawn each week during the preseason and the regular season for random testing. But, hey, why not ignore, you know, reality when trying to fashion a juicy conspiracy theory? (Moreover, there's a chance that the second sample was collected before the league knew the results of the "A" sample; that would further undermine the idea that the NFL was "out to get" him. Unfortunately, the confidentiality of the process prevents the league from setting the record straight in this regard.)

Steinberg also says that Cushing had a "pre-existing medical condition that was consistent with the natural production of hCG in males." But Steinberg points not to the notion that Cushing spent the entire season worried about cancer; instead, Steinberg claims that Cushing has an enlarged pituitary gland.

OK, but why then has Cushing not tested positive for hCG at any point after the test that resulted in his suspension? This fact continues to be the one most important fact that Cushing's camp continues to ignore. If he has a condition that is generating unusual amounts of natural hCG, Cushing should be continuing to test positive, right?

Apparently, he isn't.

And the occam's razor conclusion for this is that he's no longer testing positive for hCG because he's no longer ingesting hCG.

Then again, it's not completely clear that Cushing has not tested positive. We're assuming that he hasn't because, surely, evidence of the ongoing existence of hCG in his system (either as determined via NFL-implemented testing or private testing) would have helped avoid a suspension. Moreover, someone (Cushing, Condon, and/or Steinberg) would be expressly -- and loudly -- stating that Cushing continues to show abnormal amounts of naturally-produced hCG.

Instead, Steinberg demonstrates his lawyer skills by adroitly dancing around the topic. He says, "We did research and found out that his was a plausible explanation. We consulted an expert who suggested further testing. We became convinced that this was a situation that was naturally produced." But Steinberg never says that further tests showed high levels of hCG. If it were true, he'd be saying it. Heck, he'd be screaming it.

In the end, Steinberg seems to be claiming that Cushing experienced a short-term biological glitch -- that his body naturally produced enough hCG to trigger a suspension but that the condition apparently has resolved itself, just as naturally. But Steinberg has avoided directly making this contention, possibly because he knows it's even less plausible than Cushing's proclamation that he spent the balance of the 2009 season fearing death.

Making Steinberg's delayed explanation even less credible is the fact that we heard nothing about this supposedly valid explanation for an entire week after Cushing's suspension was announced. Think about that for a second -- Steinberg never bothered to help his client come up with a plan for seizing the upper hand in the P.R. battle by putting all of the cards on the table before the media or the fans were in a position to assume based on silence, inconsistent leaks (such as Cushing's private claim that he tested positive due to something a doctor had given him), and Cushing's train wreck of a press conference that the long-rumored juicer finally has been caught. Indeed, Cushing's camp knew for months that the day possibly was coming when Cushing would be suspended, and they all were caught flatfooted when it happened.

So it's hard not to be skeptical when we're now getting spin and carefully constructed half-truths from the lawyer who not only lost the appeal, but also lost the P.R. battle that he didn't even bother to show up for until it was far too late.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... r-cushing/ (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/05/15/steinberg-continues-belated-damage-control-for-cushing/)

RuthlessBurgher
05-15-2010, 05:19 PM
Here's the thing, the rule is simple - don't get caught with these certain items in your system. All the protests & legal dancing don't matter, he was caught & he shouldn't be eligible to reap the rewards because the voting body wasn't aware of his infraction & subsequent suspension. All this hand-wringing by the voters over what kind of precedent it sets is BS...What kind of precedent have you set know? You've opened yourself up to criticism from Baseball of all things & now have given the public every right to suspect you of turning the other way where PEDs are concerned.

For all the care Goodell took in adjudicating Ben's situation, this is one where he just missed it. Goodell should've announced that Cushing was being stripped of his honor & the award should've automatically gone to Byrd. This will not go away & I hope that the NFL changes it's handling of these issues because with the influence of post-season awards & contractual guarantees, these suspensions need to be announced immediately - even while the appeal process is allowed to be carried out - so that the voters of post-season honors can have a complete picture before voting.

If it were an honor bestowed on him by the NFL, then Goodell could have done that. But it wasn't a league award...it was an Associated Press award. The AP decided that a re-vote was the appropriate thing to do here. There is nothing Goodell could do about that one way or the other. He doesn't control the AP writers.

SanAntonioSteelerFan
05-15-2010, 05:24 PM
Here's the thing, the rule is simple - don't get caught with these certain items in your system. All the protests & legal dancing don't matter, he was caught & he shouldn't be eligible to reap the rewards because the voting body wasn't aware of his infraction & subsequent suspension. All this hand-wringing by the voters over what kind of precedent it sets is BS...What kind of precedent have you set know? You've opened yourself up to criticism from Baseball of all things & now have given the public every right to suspect you of turning the other way where PEDs are concerned.

For all the care Goodell took in adjudicating Ben's situation, this is one where he just missed it. Goodell should've announced that Cushing was being stripped of his honor & the award should've automatically gone to Byrd. This will not go away & I hope that the NFL changes it's handling of these issues because with the influence of post-season awards & contractual guarantees, these suspensions need to be announced immediately - even while the appeal process is allowed to be carried out - so that the voters of post-season honors can have a complete picture before voting.

If it were an honor bestowed on him by the NFL, then Goodell could have done that. But it wasn't a league award...it was an Associated Press award. The AP decided that a re-vote was the appropriate thing to do here. There is nothing Goodell could do about that one way or the other. He doesn't control the AP writers.

Wonder how much leverage he has in terms of limiting access of selected writers to the NFL - locker rooms, field passes etc. It's hardball, to be sure, but it seems this is something that would have Goodell's head right up at "explode".

Douchette seems to stand out in this regard - changing his vote TO Cushing in the revote. :wft