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Texans linebacker Cushing denies drug use

HOUSTON - Texans linebacker Brian Cushing said yesterday he neither injected nor ingested any banned substances even though he tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

Cushing was suspended for four games without pay last week for violating the NFL's drug policy. His appeal was denied.

Cushing confirmed he tested positive for HCG, a fertility drug that is on the league's banned substance list. "The question of how it got into my body is still unclear," he said. "It's something that I'm very personally concerned about, just the fact that how it's there and what's going to determine it from happening again, and that's something we're going to have to medically investigate."

Cushing retained The Associated Press NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award in a revote Wednesday prompted by the penalty. He won the original balloting in January with 39 votes out of 50 from a nationwide panel of sports writers and broadcasters. This time, he got 18 votes to 13 for Buffalo's Jairus Byrd and 12 for Green Bay's Clay Matthews III.

He is offended that some in the media have called for him to give up the award.

"Why? I know I didn't do anything," he said. "I earned that award. I did everything I could. I was disappointed with the revote, but I have to respect the process again."

- AP

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