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Count Zarth
04-06-2009, 08:47 PM
One of the loose ends remaining from the flurry of reports regarding positive drug test results from the February Scouting Combine is that the agents for USC linebacker Clay Matthews issued a strong denial of the report that Matthews tested positive for steroids, but issued a curious non-denial regarding their other client implicated by reports of a positive marijuana result, Boston College defensive tackle B.J. Raji.

In a joint statement, Athletes First COO Brian Murphy and V.P. and general counsel Mark Humenik have now said that the reports regarding Raji are false.

The full text of the statement from Murphy and Humenik appears below.

“We issued a statement last week that we do not like to comment on rumors from unnamed sources. Unfortunately, rumors of a failed drug test by our client BJ Raji were erroneously reported as ‘fact’ by at least two websites, even though neither the NFL nor BJ confirmed the rumor’s accuracy in any way, shape, or form. The complete facts are as follows:

“Last Thursday, at least two websites [SI.com and NFLDraftBible.com] published malicious rumors — characterized as fact — that our client BJ Raji failed a drug test at the NFL Combine, citing unnamed ‘NFL team sources.’ On Friday, the NFL issued a statement challenging the foundation for these reports and indicating that neither the League, nor its member clubs, know the results of drug or steroid tests taken at the 2009 Combine and that the independent medical advisors who administer the tests have notified in writing those players — and only those players — who tested positive at the Combine. BJ Raji has NOT received any letter from the NFL or the Independent Administrator indicating that he tested positive for drugs at the Combine. Further, after these unsubstantiated reports surfaced, BJ contacted the independent medical advisor’s office (Dr. Brown) to confirm that he had not been sent any letter and has not been entered into the NFL’s Drug Intervention Program. BJ did not receive a return call from Dr. Brown, but learned today that Dr. Brown is not allowed to talk to any player directly unless that player was sent a letter informing him that he had failed a drug test at the NFL Combine and/or been instructed to contact Dr. Brown. That Dr. Brown will not talk to BJ — as Dr. Brown would otherwise be expected to do under the NFL Substance Abuse Policy if BJ had failed a drug test or being sent a letter directing him to contact the medical advisor’s office — is further proof that these reports are untrue.

“In short and as we have known all along, the media reports accusing BJ of a failed drug test at the Combine are false. Given the cowardly attacks and damage to BJ’s character as a result of these vicious rumors, we sincerely hope that the responsible parties are discovered and held accountable for their actions. For the sake of BJ and his family, we look forward to putting this hurtful allegation behind them and seeing BJ fulfill his lifetime dream of being drafted by an NFL team.”

The 32 NFL teams have not yet been informed of the players who tested positive. Based on the above, Athletes First and Raji seem to be under the clear impression that Raji’s name won’t be on the list.

SBK
04-06-2009, 10:51 PM
Yes he did, some random website said so!!

Chiefnj2
04-07-2009, 07:40 AM
What I don't understand is the NFL network obviously has access and sources that spell out exactly how the process works - players advised first, teams several weeks later, etc. Yet, instead of dismissing the rumors the NFL network played them up and discussed them and had the analysts talking about how it may affect the stock of certain players.

htismaqe
04-07-2009, 08:39 AM
What I don't understand is the NFL network obviously has access and sources that spell out exactly how the process works - players advised first, teams several weeks later, etc. Yet, instead of dismissing the rumors the NFL network played them up and discussed them and had the analysts talking about how it may affect the stock of certain players.

Almost seems calculated, doesn't it?

Methinks the NFL Network is looking to be more like ESPN. Sensationalism is more important nowadays than actual news.