“HOUSTON official player suspended as a result of


Houston A remorseful Brian Cushing broke down in tears as he talked about his 10-game ban for breaking the NFL’s performance-enhancing substance rules in front of cameras inside the Houston Texans’ locker room.

The former NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year wasn’t shy in expressing his feelings, but he wouldn’t say what exactly led to his second infraction of the rules since joining the team.

Cushing did say the punishment stemmed from him failing to seek permission from the league office for a prescription medication.

Cushing added that the suspension, which he didn’t appeal, didn’t stem from taking Adderall. When questioned, he hinted that it was not a steroid or HGH substance.

“I don’t want to get too much into particulars, but there were a good amount of things bothering me in this past offseason, most mentally, and I was getting a prescription medication that I should have been more careful with and should have communicated with the league a lot better about,” Cushing said. “I take full responsibility for it and it’s something now that I’m working with the league and taking again, through their terms and through their doctors to OK it.

“The encouraging thing is there are other guys in the league that are allowed to take this. That’s the process we’re in right now, to hopefully get that done.”

Cushing served a four-game suspension in 2010, his second season with the team, after being a first-round draft choice from USC. It was reported at the time that Cushing tested positive as a rookie for a fertility drug called HCG, which is on the banned substance list and has frequently been used to restart natural testosterone production.

Cushing alluded to players dealing with CTE and other issues relating to head injuries as a motivation for him taking the medication without seeking approval from the NFL.

“I hope they understand that I had an issue that I was trying to better myself with,” Cushing said. “As I’ve gotten older, there’s been a lot of things that I’ve been worrisome about, especially with a lot of the other players that have played and retired and kind of the situations and conditions they’re in.”

Rumors about steroid use have dogged Cushing for his entire football career going back to his days playing high school ball in New Jersey and at USC. This suspension reinforced those perceptions surrounding Cushing with plenty of criticism and ridicule delivered to the former Pro Bowl selection via social media.

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