Cowboys DE Robert Quinn suspended 2 games for PEDs; agent strongly disputes result

Defensive end Robert Quinn left Dallas Cowboys training camp in California recently, and had to return to Texas to have surgery on his left hand, which he broke in practice on Tuesday.

Quinn’s availability for Week 1 of the regular season was already in question because of the injury, but now he’ll definitely miss the first two games.

Two-game suspension

Dallas Cowboys defensive end Robert Quinn has been suspended for the first two games of the regular season. (AP)
Dallas Cowboys defensive end Robert Quinn has been suspended for the first two games of the regular season. (AP)

The Cowboys announced on Thursday that Quinn has been suspended for the first two games by the NFL for violation of the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Under the rules of the collective bargaining agreement, it is not required to publish which banned substance or substances a player has been found to have in his system.

On the plus side, it means Quinn will likely be ready to go once he’s able to return to the team on Sept. 16, the day after the team’s Week 2 game against Washington.

Agent: Contaminated prescription to blame

Sean Kiernan, Quinn’s agent, posted a statement to Twitter in which he said he is “extremely disappointed” in the league’s decision.

“In life there are real world instances where a totality of the circumstances must be analyzed,” Kiernan wrote. “This is one such case.”

He continued that Quinn has a medical history with seizures which requires a preventative medication daily. Quinn failed the steroid test he took on April 2, with Kiernan saying the failure was for a substance called probenecid, which is prescribed to prevent gout.

Under NFL policy, probenecid is considered a masking agent.

According to Kiernan, however, Quinn’s test results showed 0.17 and 0.34 ng/mL of probenecid in his system at the time of the test; if it had been used as a masking agent, his levels would have to be between 500-2000 ng/mL.

Kiernan said records at the pharmacy where Quinn gets his seizure medicine filled show that a probenecid prescription was filled immediately before Quinn’s medicine, so it is their belief that Quinn’s medication was contaminated.

‘The league was tone deaf’

Kiernan further wrote that the amount of probenecid in Quinn’s test results were so low they should have been considered a false positive.

“I’ve been working with NFL Players for 20 years, and I can’t think of a situation where I’ve been personally involved where the league was as tone deaf as it was here,” Kiernan wrote. “Now, Rob will be punished for something that would have been impossible for him to prevent, and even though the NFL admitted during the hearing that it did not believe Rob was intentionally doping, they still suspended him.

“The arbitrator gave us a fair hearing, but the strength at which the league argued against Rob was incredibly disappointing. I was especially disgusted by the actions of NFL Attorney Kevin Manara both prior to and during the hearing. I feel bad for Rob and his family because he did nothing wrong, yet they still had to go through this excruciating process where his character and integrity were ridiculed.”

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