In light of Texans SLB Brian Cushing's four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on anabolic steroids and related substances — and with Cushing in danger of being stripped of a pair of postseason honors — NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith issued the following statement Tuesday on the union's stance on performance-enhancing drugs:
"Sport is at its best when fans can witness great achievements under the rules of fair play. Players who break those rules cheat the game, cheat the fans and cheat themselves. The players want a clean game as well as a clean process for enforcing those rules. We intend to address both in the collective bargaining process to make the system better."
ESPN.com and The Associated Press have reported Cushing tested positive for hCG, a fertility drug that is on the NFL's list of banned substances. Steroid users reportedly take hCG to restart testosterone production.
The AP is conducting a revote on its 2009 Defensive Rookie of the Year award, which Cushing won, and its All-Pro outside linebackers in the aftermath of Cushing's positive test. Cushing was voted to the AP's All-Pro second team.
For the most authoritative NFL draft news and free-agency analysis, visit ProFootballWeekly.com.