The agency that represents highly regarded Boston College defensive tackle B.J. Raji disputed a report by two different websites that Raji had failed a test for marijuana at the NFL scouting combine in February.
Raji is projected to be a first-round pick.
The statement from Athletes First executives Mark Humenik and Brian Murphy followed up similar statements from the agents for three other draft prospects last week who were reported to have failed drug tests for marijuana or steroids.
As for Raji, Humenik and Murphy clarified a statement they made last week after investigating the matter. SI.com was the first to report that Raji had failed a test. NFLDraftbible.com reported that Raji, UTEP kicker Jose Martinez, Florida wide receiver Percy Harvin and Illinois cornerback Vontae Davis had failed tests for marijuana, and that USC linebackers Clay Matthews Jr. and Brian Cushing had failed tests for steroids.
The agents for Davis, Matthews and Cushing have disputed the reports.
"We issued a statement last week that we do not like to comment on rumors from unnamed sources. Unfortunately, rumors of a failed drug test by our client B.J. Raji were erroneously reported as 'fact' by at least two websites, even though neither the NFL nor B.J. confirmed the rumor's accuracy in any way, shape or form. The complete facts are as follows:
"Last Thursday, at least two websites published malicious rumors – characterized as fact – that our client B.J. 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.
"B.J. 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, B.J. contacted the independent medical advisor's office (Dr. Lawrence Brown) to confirm that he had not been sent any letter and has not been entered into the NFL's Drug Intervention Program. B.J. 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 B.J. – as Dr. Brown would otherwise be expected to do under the NFL Substance Abuse Policy if B.J. 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 B.J. of a failed drug test at the Combine are false. Given the cowardly attacks and damage to B.J.'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 B.J. and his family, we look forward to putting this hurtful allegation behind them and seeing B.J. fulfill his lifetime dream of being drafted by an NFL team."
The statement follows up similar statements from Humenik regarding Matthews (he also is represented by Athletes First), from agent Tom Condon regarding Cushing and from agent Todd France regarding Davis.
In addition, both Matthews and Cushing spoke with Dr. John Lombardo, according to two sources. Lombardo, who runs the league's program regarding performance-enhancing substances, indicated to both players that they had nothing to be concerned about.
The agents for Harvin and Martinez have not commented on the reports.