Texans SLB Brian Cushing indicated Monday that "overtrained athlete syndrome" caused a positive test for hCG, a banned substance that resulted in a four-game suspension for a violation of the NFL's policy on anabolic steroids and related substances.
“I think that’s the final diagnosis we came up with and a lot of doctors have supported why this has happened," Cushing told Houston reporters on Monday, according to an interview transcript provided by the Texans.
Asked to clarify what overtrained athlete syndrome was, Cushing told reporters that it was "basically where anytime you take a leave of absence, you kind of get a hormonal spike, not very high at all. That’s as far as I can go right now."
SI.com first reported Monday that Cushing believed that overtrained athlete syndrome caused the postiive test that led to the violation.
According to The Houston Chronicle and Fox 26 Sports Houston, Texans owner Bob McNair is meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday in the hope of reducing or eliminating Cushing's suspension.
Cushing, 23, notched 133 tackles in 2009 and captured Defensive Rookie of the Year honors from Pro Football Weekly and the Professional Football Writers of America and from The Associated Press. He was also voted to the Pro Bowl.
HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, is a fertility drug sometimes used by steroid users seeking to restart testosterone production. It is also produced by pregnant women.
Cushing has denied knowingly taking hCG.
"I want to make it known that I did not inject or ingest any illegal substances that would enhance my performance," he told Houston reporters in May.
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