The agents representing one of the NFL draft's top prospects, defensive tackle B.J. Raji, strongly disputed a report that the former Boston College player failed a drug test at the league's scouting combine in February.
Raji: 'I'm happy the truth is out'
"The biggest thing is trying to figure out how this started," B.J. Raji told The Press Democrat of Santa Rosa, Calif. "I couldn't understand how this rumor became such a big splash in the media when there was no evidence — there was no substance to believe it. The last couple days, I was just trying to figure out: Who? What? Basically, why?" More ...
In an e-mail sent to The Associated Press on Tuesday, Brian Murphy and Mark Humenik referred to the reports as "cowardly" and "malicious," noting their client has not been notified by the NFL of any failed test.
"The media reports accusing B.J. of a failed drug test at the Combine are false," Murphy and Humenik wrote. "Given the cowardly attacks and damage to B.J.'s character as a result of these vicious rumors, we sincerely hope the responsible parties are discovered and held accountable for their actions."
Murphy and Humenik, based in Irvine, Calif., also noted that the NFL has issued a statement challenging the report initially posted on SI.com on Thursday.
The SI.com report, which did not identify the drug, was attributed to unidentified NFL team sources. The Web site reported that Raji's name will be on a list of players who tested positive.
In a statement released by the NFL last week, the league said neither its 32 teams nor the league office know the results of drug or steroid tests taken at the combine. Instead, players who test positive are notified in writing by the independent medical advisers who perform the testing.
"Unfortunately, rumors about draft-eligible players, including rumors about test results, begin to circulate every year at this time," the league statement said. "Many of these rumors are circulated for self-serving reasons, and they are terribly unfair to the players and their families."
Raji's agents said their client has not been contacted by the league or a medical adviser regarding a positive test. Raji disputed the report in an interview with The Press Democrat of Santa Rosa, Calif., in a story posted on the newspaper's Web site late Monday night.
"I couldn't understand how this rumor became such a big splash in the media when there was no evidence -- there was no substance to believe it," Raji was quoted as saying. "Now, I'm happy the truth is out."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press