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Lawyer: Merriman drug test stems from supplement

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Oct 23, 2006.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: Associated Press

    By Bernie Wilson

    <img width="154" height="232" align="left" title="Shawne Merriman" alt="Shawne Merriman" src="http://www.bolttalk.com/images/merriman13.jpg" />SAN DIEGO // Shawne Merriman's attorney said the Chargers' star linebacker failed a drug test because of a tainted supplement and will continue to play while appealing his four-game suspension.

    Attorney David Cornwell said he believed Merriman tested positive for the steroid nandrolone, which is prohibited under the NFL's substance abuse policy. Cornwell said the substance was in a supplement Merriman has been taking.

    "He did not go into the back alley somewhere and put a needle in his butt for steroids," Cornwell said at a news conference Monday, nearly two hours after Merriman practiced with the Chargers following Sunday's 30-27 loss at Kansas City.
    <blockquote>Merriman said he spoke with his teammates and coaches earlier in the day, and "apologized to them for this being a distraction, especially the critical time we're going through as a team."

    "Hopefully nobody makes any kind of judgment or anything that basically makes me guilty for anything because nothing has been done wrong on my part," Merriman said. "And I will try to get it straightened out as soon as possible. As of right now I'm not missing any time."

    The 22-year-old Merriman was last year's NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and started in the Pro Bowl after leading the Chargers with 10 sacks. Merriman is second on the team with 5 1/2 sacks.

    "I have no reason to do anything wrong, especially when I'm already in the spotlight and doing things and trying to present to people the right and wrong way to go about things," Merriman said. "This is obviously a mistake that has to be dealt with correctly."

    Cornwell said nandrolone "is the primary culprit in tainted supplements."

    "I know that people get tired of hearing it, but it is a fact and it is not going to go away until the Congress of the United States deals with it," Cornwell said. "Supplements are not regulated and it is a dirty fact of this industry that many of them are tainted with prohibited substances and men like Shawne get hooked up and get penalized for taking something that they didn't know was present in the supplement.

    "That's why this is such an evil process," the attorney said. "He has been playing, unwittingly, Russian roulette with his career because he's been taking the same supplements, and it has been subjected to testing, and hasn't yielded a positive test. So he thought the supplements that he was taking were as safe."

    Besides Merriman's suspension, the Chargers have had five separate off-field issues dating back to April.

    Outside linebacker Steve Foley was shot three times outside his suburban home on Sept. 3 by an off-duty police officer who suspected him of drunk driving. Foley will miss the entire season and was charged with two counts of DUI.

    Safety Terrence Kiel was arrested on five felony drug counts in September and has pleaded not guilty.

    Cornerback Markus Curry, who had been demoted to the practice squad, was released on Oct. 9, just hours after he was arrested on suspicion of committing domestic violence.

    Foley and linebacker Shaun Phillips were each arrested for scuffling with San Diego police officers a week apart in April. Neither was charged.

    <a target="_blank" href="http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/football/bal-merriman1024,0,7129747.story?coll=bal-sports-headlines"><strong>Article Link</strong></a></blockquote>

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