OK folks, you can file this under “You’ve got to be kidding me”. And I wish I was making this up. Josh Peter of Yahoo Sports! is reporting that former Cleveland Browns quarterback Tim Couch has allegedly used anabolic steroids and human growth hormone (HGH), both banned by the National Football League. Documents that were obtained by Yahoo! Sports outline that Couch had a regimen that called for usage of both substances; they were obtained by a source who requested to remain anonymous stating safety concerns. What is known about this source is that he is a former associate of a principal in this Tim Couch saga.
The principal in question is one Brian Yusem, a “self-styled” nutritionist based out of Boca Raton, FL who has been working with Couch since January 2006. When asked about the documents in question, Yusem proclaimed the documents as worthless and further added, “Just because somebody prints something and says this is the protocol I would suggest doesn’t mean somebody has the obligation to do it or did it.” An interesting twist in this accusation is that Yusem states that he saw Couch being injected with steroids in Yusem’s office and also saw Couch pick up steroids and HGH at the same office.
Yusem stressed that privacy laws prevent him from disclosing anything about Couch’s treatment (how convenient); he added that Couch was under the care of a licensed physician and that nothing illegal took place. In previous interviews with other media outlets, Yusem said that Couch’s “dramatic” gain of strength was not because of steroids or HGH but because of usage of a substance called Laxogenin. Couch in return has stated that he passed a drug test when he signed with Jacksonville Jaguars back on July 29.
Couch further stated, “If I took that much steroids I wouldn’t have passed the steroid test in Jacksonville. There’s no way in hell. It doesn’t matter what that (steroid regimen) says. It matters what I took. I know what I took and what I didn’t take.” The documents in question outlined a detailed list of at least two regimens, one for 72 days dated January 26, 2006, and one for 80 days dated September 18, 2006 (three months after Couch had shoulder surgery). The drugs allegedly used during these regimens were Stanozolol, Oaxndrolone, Testosterone Cypionate, Nolvadex and Fluox, an antidepressant.
Regardless of whether the accusations are true or not, there would be ramifications should Couch rejoin the NFL. According to league spokesman Greg Aiello, Couch could face possible disciplinary action; the league received information in this case. A free agent or retired player who attempts a comeback, according to the league, remains subject to the league’s drug policy. Aiello further stated that a player “will be subject to discipline if we have sufficient proof that he used a banned substance without an acceptable medical justification. Merely being prescribed it by a doctor is not enough.”
When I reviewed this initially, I thought that Couch was as unlikely to be taking steroids as Paris Hilton would be joining a nunnery. But at the same time, anything is possible. But again, regardless of the end result of this investigation, there may be a price to pay. And I think it is safe to say that Couch, who was a mediocre QB at best, will not be on a NFL roster this season, if ever. But I truly hope that none of this is true as I would like to believe that Couch wouldn’t have to stoop to usage of illegal substances just to gain some strength and try to make a NFL roster.