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Pete Carroll denies Cushing, Matthews steroid rumors

April 3, 2009 |  3:00 pm

The NFL rumor mill is at full tilt this time of year.

So much so that USC Coach Pete Carroll apparently thought it necessary to quell the attention sparked by a blurb that linebackers Brian Cushing and Clay Matthews tested positive for steroids at the NFL scouting combine in February.

A one-sentence report from NFLDraftBible.com, which is not affiliated with the league, started the buzz. The agency representing Matthews apparently responded to the report.

Here's what Carroll had to say in a statement released on USC's website.

"These rumors are absolutely false," Carroll said. "If they were found positive, Clay and Cush would have been notified three weeks ago, which they weren't and all of the NFL teams would have been notified too, which they weren't."

Carroll said he spoke with the NFL testing service and verified that both players tested clean.

"They're both men of outstanding character and they never tested positive for anything here," Carroll said. "This is an [sic] major example of irresponsible reporting, and the site that published this report should be ashamed of themselves."

-- Gary Klein

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