|Agent says Henry passed clear; authorities say more testing needed|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 21 May 2007 12:04|
CINCINNATI (AP) -Prosecutors say more testing will be needed to determine whether suspended Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry has failed a drug screening that is part of his probation for letting minors drink in his hotel room.|
Henry's agent, Marvin Frazier, insisted that the drug test was negative and the Bengals said they were awaiting more information from the authorities in Kenyon County, Kentucky.
``With respect to the northern Kentucky proceedings, reports to date may not be based on complete information,'' the Bengals said in a statement. ``More information is expected to be made available shortly, once all the procedural tests are complete, and the club will await any action until that information has been released.''
Meanwhile, the Bengals, plagued by a series of off-field problems for more than a year, waived linebacker A.J. Nicholson hours after he appeared in court Monday on a domestic violence charge.
A spokeswoman for the Kenton County attorney's office said there would be more testing in Henry's case.
``We know that there are inconsistent reports about the routine drug screenings,'' spokeswoman Melissa Pryor-Reed said. ``As a result of these inconsistencies, further tests are currently pending.''
Frazier, citing information he received from the Bengals and Henry, said an initial screening, which he compared to a home-pregnancy test, had been followed up with one that confirmed there were no drugs in Henry's system.
``It's negative,'' Frazier said. ``They jumped the gun on it.''
After reports circulated early Monday that Henry had failed a drug test, the chief prosecutor for Kenton County said authorities were awaiting the final analysis.
``We have to wait for confirmation from the state lab. We have suspicion on a field test,'' Ken Easterling told The Cincinnati Enquirer. ``We cannot confirm or deny (Henry's test sample) contains a controlled substance.''
Failing a drug test could result in Henry's current NFL suspension of eight games being extended. He could also face more jail time in Kenton County, just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati.
Henry served two days there after pleading guilty to letting minors drink in a hotel room he rented. The judge suspended 88 days of the 90-day sentence.
A message seeking comment was left with Henry's attorney, Robert Lotz.
The Bengals said to the club's knowledge, Henry had been complying with legal and NFL-required procedures.
Henry, the Bengals' No. 3 receiver, has shown big-play ability, and the offense struggled last year when he was benched one game by coach Marvin Lewis and suspended two more by the NFL.
Henry was arrested four times over 14 months, but had avoided jail time on the other three charges.
The Bengals waived Nicholson, who pleaded not guilty Monday in Kenton County court to a domestic violence charge. His girlfriend tried to recant her claim that Nicholson hit her, but a judge would not allow it. Nicholson remains free on $5,000 bond, with a hearing set for May 31.
The fifth-round draft pick from Florida State in 2006 was hampered by a hamstring injury last season and appeared in only two games. Bengals spokesman Jack Brennan said the team had no comment on the decision to waive Nicholson.
Nicholson had previously pleaded no contest to burglary and grand theft in Tallahassee, Fla., and was sentenced to two months in a work program. He was also placed on two years' probation, which could be jeopardized by his arrest last Friday on the domestic violence charge.
The Bengals, who had nine players arrested in a nine-month span, were part of the reason NFL commissioner Roger Goodell introduced a conduct policy last month that stiffens penalties and holds franchises responsible when their players get into trouble.
Henry, a third-year pro, and former West Virginia teammate Adam ``Pacman'' Jones became examples of the crackdown, with Goodell suspending Henry for eight games and Tenneesee's cornerback for the season.
``I must emphasize to you that this is your last opportunity to salvage your NFL career,'' Goodell wrote in letters to the players.
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