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Cushing’s tumor excuse gets exposed

One of the most specious aspects of Texans linebacker Brian Cushing’s press conference related to his claim that the positive test for hCG caused him to fear, based on the medical information he received, that he possibly had a tumor. And he says he spent the balance of the season fearful that he had one or more tumors in his body.

It was the moment at which we became convinced that Cushing is full of something other than hCG or tumors. People who think they have tumors get tested for (wait for it) tumors. MRIs detect (wait for it) tumors. Certain blood tests indicate (do we need to say it again?) tumors.

And if Cushing spent the rest of the season thinking he had tumors, he did a great job of keeping it quiet. Alex Marvex of points out that linebacker DeMeco Ryans, a character witness of sorts whom the Texans trotted out after the ridiculously limited time to question Cushing ended, “didn’t know anything about tumors.” Marvez also reports that the team’s position regarding Cushing’s tumor claim was to say “no comment,” which fairly can be interpreted as a concession that “it’s not a tumor.”

We’re told that other friends of Cushing’s knew nothing about a tumor. So, basically, Cushing was in fear for his life, and he shared nothing about his concerns to some of the folks he knew best.

Moreover, Cushing offered no medical evidence to support the reasonableness of his belief that he feared cancer. The Associated Press sought out the input of Dr. Gary Wadler, who chairs the committe that the determines the banned substances for the World Anti-Doping Agency. And Dr. Wadler summed the situation up perfectly.

“If he had a tumor that produced hCG, he wouldn’t be playing football,” Wadler said. “He would be under treatment for a malignant tumor.”

Wadler also pointed out that, if Cushing had a tumor, he would have tested positive for hCG consistently. Instead, Cushing only tested positive for hCG once.

“Malignant testicular tumors producing hCG are rather lethal,” Dr. Wadler said. “It is a fairly aggressive tumor and you’re not playing in the NFL with one.”

And that’s the truest statement made today as to Cushing: “You’re not playing in the NFL with one.”

In our view, there is no tumor, there was no tumor, and there was no fear of a tumor. What we saw today was the predictable denial of a man who made his bed months if not years ago.

When witness testimony sharply conflicts in a trial, some wonder why people would choose to lie under oath. The reality is that the decision to lie under oath was made long before the witness ever set foot in the courtroom.

In Cushing’s case, the decision to publicly deny on Thursday ever using banned substances was made the moment he first used one.