We'll see if anybody else picks this up, but yet another positive drug test might be bogus. According to Pro Football Talk B.J. Raji's agents have released a statement denying the SI and NFLDraftBible reports of Raji failing a drug test. Here is the statement, as reported by PFT, from Athletes First COO Brian Murphy and VP/GC Mark Humenik:
“Last Thursday, at least two websites published malicious rumors — characterized as fact — that our client BJ Raji failed a drug test at the NFL Combine, citing unnamed ‘NFL team sources.’ On Friday, the NFL issued a statement challenging the foundation for these reports and indicating that neither the League, nor its member clubs, know the results of drug or steroid tests taken at the 2009 Combine and that the independent medical advisors who administer the tests have notified in writing those players — and only those players — who tested positive at the Combine. BJ Raji has NOT received any letter from the NFL or the Independent Administrator indicating that he tested positive for drugs at the Combine. Further, after these unsubstantiated reports surfaced, BJ contacted the independent medical advisor’s office (Dr. Brown) to confirm that he had not been sent any letter and has not been entered into the NFL’s Drug Intervention Program. BJ did not receive a return call from Dr. Brown, but learned today that Dr. Brown is not allowed to talk to any player directly unless that player was sent a letter informing him that he had failed a drug test at the NFL Combine and/or been instructed to contact Dr. Brown. That Dr. Brown will not talk to BJ — as Dr. Brown would otherwise be expected to do under the NFL Substance Abuse Policy if BJ had failed a drug test or being sent a letter directing him to contact the medical advisor’s office — is further proof that these reports are untrue.
“In short and as we have known all along, the media reports accusing BJ of a failed drug test at the Combine are false. Given the cowardly attacks and damage to BJ’s character as a result of these vicious rumors, we sincerely hope that the responsible parties are discovered and held accountable for their actions. For the sake of BJ and his family, we look forward to putting this hurtful allegation behind them and seeing BJ fulfill his lifetime dream of being drafted by an NFL team.”
If this is in fact the case, and Raji does not appear on the list of positive tests, I'd imagine any free-fall would be halted. Potentially bad news for those of us who wouldn't mind giving Raji a chance to fill the 3-4 nose tackle role. We'll definitely keep an eye on this story, given how it might affect the 49ers first round draft choice.
Also, the picture looks a bit awkward but we're testing some things out. SB Nation has cut a deal that allows us to post AP photos with pre-set captions. The best part of that is having access to game photos for our recaps and also, hopefully, training camp photos. For now, bear with us as we work out the kinks.