Continued from page 1

Count Manny Ramirez among the latter. The Dodgers outfielder was busted for using the same fertility drug that the NFL says Cushing used. But Manny being Manny, he has refused to talk about it _ or almost anything else _ ever since.

We can presume he wasn’t trying to have a baby. But is it possible the dreadlocked one was a victim of OAS himself?

Hardly, as anyone who has ever watched Ramirez run after a fly ball can attest. Still, by the time Cushing is done fighting his one-man crusade against overexertion, he may wish he had clammed up just like his baseball counterpart.

The problem isn’t that Cushing doth protest too much, though he surely does. It’s that he expects Texans fans and the few other people who care about who tests positive for what in the NFL to take him at his word when he said he did nothing against the rules to win the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year award last season.

But if Cushing really wants to clear this up, why not release both the test results and his medical records? While he’s at it, he can trot out some of the experts on OAS to talk about its side effects.

He won’t because the bottom line is he got caught with HGC, or human chorionic gonadotropin, in his system. And the only known way _ besides OAS, of course _ HGC can get in a male’s system is either by injection or tumors, which Cushing doesn’t have.

What is known is that HGC can be injected at the end of a steroid cycle, when users are unable to produce much testosterone. It jumpstarts the process, and is commonly used in conjunction with steroids.

In Cushing’s case, he tested positive at the beginning of his rookie season. You do the math, but the timing alone is almost as damaging as the fact HGC was in his body at all.

“If it sort of looks like a duck and smells like a duck, it’s usually a duck,” Tygart said.

Cushing isn’t about to start quacking, but he better prepare himself to sit out the first four games of the season. McNair, meanwhile, needs to understand that as an owner in the NFL he shouldn’t undermine the league’s drug testing by questioning the results, no matter how desperate he is to see his star linebacker on the field when the Texans host Indianapolis on Sept. 12.

In the meantime, Cushing better hope he never gets busted by the league’s doping investigators again.

Because the excuse about the imaginary twin has already been taken.


Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlberg(at)