Tex­ans’ Cush­ing sus­pended 10 games for PEDs

The Maui News - - SPORTS - By BARRY WILNER

Hous­ton Tex­ans line­backer Brian Cush­ing has been sus­pended for 10 games by the NFL for vi­o­lat­ing the league’s pol­icy on per­for­mance-en­hanc­ing drugs.

It’s the sec­ond time Cush­ing has been sus­pended; he missed four games in 2010 un­der the same pol­icy, test­ing pos­i­tive for a fer­til­ity drug.

Cush­ing had won 2009 De­fen­sive Rookie of the Year, an honor which was jeop­ar­dized by the sus­pen­sion. He kept the award af­ter a revote by The As­so­ci­ated Press’ awards panel.

Cur­rently in the NFL’s con­cus­sion pro­to­col af­ter be­ing in­jured in Hous­ton’s open­ing loss to Jack­sonville, Cush­ing will be el­i­gi­ble to re­turn on Nov. 28.

Cush­ing has had a check­ered ca­reer since his sen­sa­tional rookie sea­son. In­juries cur­tailed his 2012 and ’13 sea­sons, when he got into a to­tal of 12 games. He’s never come close to match­ing his first-year pro­duc­tion of 86 tack­les, 47 as­sists, four sacks, four in­ter­cep­tions, two forced fum­bles and 10 passes de­fensed.

The 2009 de­fen­sive rookie revote came af­ter Cush­ing tested pos­i­tive for HCG, a fer­til­ity drug that is on the NFL’s banned sub­stance list. He had one pos­i­tive test from a urine sam­ple taken in Septem­ber 2009, then sub­se­quently tested neg­a­tive sev­eral times.

But when his sus­pen­sion was an­nounced the fol­low­ing May, the AP called for an­other bal­lot. Cush­ing didn’t re­ceive any­where near the 39 votes of his pre­vi­ous land­slide vic­tory, but the 18 he got were enough to re­claim the honor.

In the revote, Cush­ing fin­ished five votes ahead of thenBuf­falo safety Jairus Byrd. Green Bay line­backer Clay Matthews III got 12.


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