NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has refused to alter the suspension of Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing. Cushing was the defensive rookie of the year last season, but was suspended after testing positive for a banned substance. In a statement released Thursday, the league said “At the request of Texans owner Bob McNair, Commissioner Goodell reviewed additional medical information presented on behalf of Brian Cushing. The club and Cushing were notified today that after carefully considering all the information, including a review by outside medical experts, the commissioner finds no basis for changing the decision and that Mr. Cushing’s suspension for the first four games of the regular season remains in place.”
McNair met with Goodell and the league’s medical staff back on August 9 in an attempt to get Cushing’s suspension reduced or overturned. Cushing tested positive for HCG, which is on the banned list because it can be used to mask steroid use. But he insists he never took any banned substance, and the positive test was only due to overtraining. With the suspension upheld, he will not be eligible to play until Houston’s October 10 game against the New York Giants. Cushing started all 16 games for the Texans last season and led the team with 133 tackles. He also totaled four sacks, four interceptions, one safety and two forced fumbles.