Sanders replied that shortly before he ended his three-year retirement last
August he received prescribed medication to treat an ankle he hurt playing
basketball. When Sanders took his Ravens’ physical, he said steroids were
detected in his system.
“The next thing I know they're testing me weekly. I'm like, what's going on? I
had never had a prior," Sanders said. "They told me I flunked the steroid test.
I was on the random steroid test every week because I took something to help
expedite my ankle.
"You could tell from my body structure that I could be on steroids because I’m
big like that, but that’s how innocent it could be."
Apparently, it’s even more benign than Sanders’ portrayal.
Hours after Sanders made his comments, the Ravens clarified his status within
the NFL substance-abuse policy.
The Ravens said that Sanders never failed a drug test, but was given weekly drug
screenings because he skipped a random drug test shortly before he officially
retired from the Washington Redskins in 2000.
A failed steroid test would have triggered a four-game suspension under league
“Deion never failed a drug test,” Ravens senior vice president of public
relations Kevin Byrne said. “When Deion had time left on his contract with the
Redskins, he wasn’t going to play again and he didn’t go to the test. Under the
letter of the law, that gives them probable cause.
“That’s why he was tested. He might think it was because of his ankle, but it’s
not. The league is very careful with this because they don’t want people
accusing them of giving preferential treatment to Prime Time. He’s never tested
positive for steroids.”
Ravens coach Brian Billick spoke later to Sanders, who apologized for causing
confusion and promised he would clear up the misunderstanding today.
After butchering the pronunciation of Palmeiro, Sanders weighed in on the
embattled Orioles slugger.
“You really don’t want to jump the gun and speculate,” Sanders said. “I’m sure
there’s a wonderful story behind it all. Let’s just hope it’s not what it
In addition to being a long time contributor to RavensInsider, Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.
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