In the wake of the four-game suspension levied against Texans LB Brian Cushing for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs, The Associated Press says it is conducting a revote of the awards Cushing won at the end of the 2009 season.
Cushing said he didn't use steroids but admitted to taking a "nonsteroidal" banned substance in September '09. He appealed the suspension, but his appeal was denied last week.
Cushing was a landslide winner of the AP's Defensive Rookie of the Year award, receiving 39 votes from a 50-member panel of sportswriters and broadcasters, far ahead of Buffalo S Jairus Byrd's six votes. Cushing also was an AP second-team All-Pro. He is still eligible for the awards in the revote.
"This is the first time we've encountered an issue like this," said Lou Ferrara, AP's managing editor for sports and entertainment. "Because these awards are based on on-field performance, we consider it necessary to review the matter and allow for a revote, especially after concerns were raised by many of our voters."
Ballots for the revote are due by noon ET Wednesday.
Cushing will not be eligible for next season's Pro Bowl, an honor he received last season, or any other league-sponsored award because he'll be serving his suspension in 2010.
Texans owner Bob McNair criticized the confidentiality of the process, saying his team has little information about the nature of Cushing's offense and thus finds it difficult knowing how to react to the situation. McNair said the process might have to be addressed in the next Collective Bargaining Agreement.
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