Oh, anonymous sources ... you've done it again. Those crazy "web logs" have reported that at least six football players failed pre-draft drug tests, which the players naturally deny. So whose pants are on fire?
At different times last week, NFLDraftbible.com—your source for draft bibles!—reported that Raji, UTEP kicker Jose Martinez, Florida wide receiver Percy Harvin and Illinois cornerback Vontae Davis all tested positive for marijuana. They also said that USC linebackers Clay Matthews Jr. and Brian Cushing had failed tests for steroids. Various representatives for most of the players have denied those rumors. In fact, the agents for Raji (who also work for Matthews) were quite adamant about it, offering a very lengthy and detailed rebuttal.
"Last Thursday, at least two websites published malicious rumors – characterized as fact – that our client B.J. 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.
"B.J. 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, B.J. contacted the independent medical advisor's office (Dr. Lawrence Brown) to confirm that he had not been sent any letter and has not been entered into the NFL's Drug Intervention Program. B.J. 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 B.J. – as Dr. Brown would otherwise be expected to do under the NFL Substance Abuse Policy if B.J. 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.
Got all that? So what does the dirty website have to say for itself?
The NFLDraftBible.com reported a story based on very reliable sources," Rick Serritella, founder and CEO of the site, told Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal. "We have reported hundreds, if not thousands of stories in the past and we have never had any issues with any of our stories in the past."
Well, I'm sold. See, the thing about drug allegations is that they are almost always false ... right up until the moment that they turn out to be true. (We are talking about marijuana and college students.) The only problem is that even if they aren't true, they can still damage an athlete's reputation and his wallet. So will the NFL step up and settle this thing one way or the other? Will anyone own up to the leaked information? Will I care enough to even watch the NFL Draft? (Unlikely on count three.)
The moral of the story as always—it's A-Rod's fault.
Raji's representatives dispute failed test [Yahoo]
Web Site Stands Behind Its Reports Of Positive Drug Results [Pro Football Talk]
NFL DRAFT BIBLE [NFLDraftBible]