|Agent says Henry passed drug test; authorities say more testing needed|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 21 May 2007 14:45|
Henry is on probation in Kentucky for letting minors drink in a hotel room he rented and in Florida for carrying a concealed weapon.
Henry's agent, Marvin Frazier, insisted that the drug test was negative, and the Bengals said they were awaiting more information from authorities in Kenton County, Ky., where the screening took place.
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. Nicholson pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor assault.
The Bengals 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.
Failing a drug test could extend Henry's current eight-game NFL suspension.
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.''
Frazier said the drug screening was part of Henry's two-year probation in Florida, where he pleaded guilty last year to a concealed weapon charge. Henry is also on probation in Kenton County after pleading guilty to a charge of letting minors drink in his hotel room.
A spokeswoman for the Kenton County attorney's office confirmed there would be more testing in Henry's case.
``We know that there are inconsistent reports about the routine drug screenings,'' Melissa Pryor-Reed said. ``As a result of these inconsistencies, further tests are currently pending.''
Ken Easterling, the chief prosecutor for Kenton county, told The Cincinnati Enquirer he was awaiting confirmation from the state lab.
``There was suspicion on a field test,'' he told the paper.
With a positive test, Henry, arrested four times in 14 months, also could face more jail time in Kenton County, just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati. He 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.
``More information is expected to be made available shortly, once all the procedural tests are complete,'' the Bengals said in a statement. ``And the club will await any action until that information has been released.''
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.
Nicholson, however, won't get another shot with the Bengals after his latest arrest. 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.
During Monday's court appearance, Nicholson's 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.
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 latest arrest.