UPDATED: Georgia OL Kolton Houston still ineligible due to banned substance

ATHENS – As Georgia prepares to begin preseason football practices Thursday, Georgia offensive lineman Kolton Houston remains ineligible to compete for the Bulldogs, the school confirmed Thursday.

Houston, a redshirt sophomore offensive tackle from Buford, was ineligible last season due to what Georgia would say is only was “an NCAA issue.” But according to 10 pages of documents and letters released to the AJC on Thursday, Houston has been actively appealing a positive NCAA test for a banned substance since April of 2010.  At that time, Houston was informed he had tested positive for “19-norandrosterone” — an anabolic steroid — in a random drug screening.

According to appeals documents filed with the NCAA and president Mark Emmert, Houston has continued to test positive since then, though the school and family contend there has been no re-use of the substance and the levels have declined to the point of being disadvantageous. Houston reportedly was administered the steroid after surgery for a high school shoulder injury.

According to UGA, Houston will be able to continue to practice but will be unable to play until he’s able to produce a clean test.

Georgia coach Mark Richt, who has been asked about Houston’s availability repeatedly since last fall, finally addressed the situation openly Thursday at the team’s preseason news conference.

“It’s been a difficult situation for Kolton and his family and us as coaches, continuing to assume it’s gonna get out of there but it just hasn’t. You’ve been asking me questions for a while and I’ve been saying, ‘Hopefully we’ll be ready to go.’ Well, he’s still not ready to go. It could happen any time really.”

Houston is listed as the No. 1 right tackle heading into preseason camp. Initially Richt said sophomore Watts Dantzler will step into the starting position with true freshman John Theus competing for playing time.

The Houston family approved the release of the documents, which otherwise would be protected by federal privacy laws. Family lawyers and Georgia have continued to appeal the case.

The latest appeal came on July 12 when athletic director Greg McGarity sent a personal letter to NCAA President Mark Emmert:

“Mr. Houston, his parents and our staff acknowledge the fact that the results of that test severely impacted his ability to compete as a student-athlete at UGA, and the Houston family accepted the responsibility for this unfortunate situation. Since the initial test confirmation on April 13, 2010, Mr. Houston has been tested very frequently by the NCAA and UGA, and there is scientific evidence that clearly demonstrates that there has been no re-use  over the past 2 1/2 years. While we have fought for Mr. Houston’s restoration of eligibility through every imaginable NCAA process available without any success, we will maintain our effort to see this through to the very end. It is disappointing to witness this scenario play out for  2 1/2 years with Mr. Houston’s eligibility in question. . . . We are appealing to you on behalf of the young man who has done everything possible to clear himself.”

Georgia did not get the reply it sought from Emmert. In a July 31 letter, he wrote:

“While I understand the institution’s empathy for Kolton’s situation, I am surprised the institution would make such a request. That surprise stems in part from the fact that Kolton tested positive in subsequent drug tests after his initial sanction, and the Drug Test Appeals Subcommittee did not impose additional sanctions . . . due to the “declining value” argument that supported the conclusion that there was no use of the banned substance. The exit test policy, however, which would require Kolton not to have elevated levels of the banned substance in his system prior to competing against other student-athletes who are competing clean, is not something that can be appealed because doing so would undermine the purpose of the drug-testing program. . . . The fact remains that  Kolton currently has the presence of a banned substance in his system and will not be able to participate in NCAA competition until that presence drops to an appropriate threshold.”

Here’s Georgia’s official statement on the subject:

“Prior to his enrollment at the University of Georgia, Kolton Houston sustained a shoulder injury while participating in high school football. During the recovery process he was unknowingly given a substance which was banned by the NCAA. During normal NCAA randomized drug testing for student-athletes, Kolton was tested during the first semester and tested positive for Norandrolone, a performance enhancing substance. Per NCAA guidelines he was banned from competition for one year and lost one of his four years of athletic eligibility. The University of Georgia Athletic Association has worked closely with the NCAA, the National Center for Drug  Free Sport, Kolton and his family to restore his eligibility. Although he remains ineligible for competition at this time, he is eligible to practice and train with the team and remains on scholarship. His family has requested that the Athletic Association release information related to his NCAA status. Per their request, five letters related to his appeal along with supporting documentation are being released.”

Here’s a statement from Ron Courson, UGA’s director of sports medicine:

“This is an extremely unique and complex case. The banned substance use occurred prior to his enrollment at the University of Georgia. During the past 2 1/2 years while at Georgia following the positive NCAA test, our testing clearly demonstrates Kolton has had no further re-use. We feel strongly he’s deserving of the three remaining years of eligibility and (will) continue to work toward restoration.”

Here’s Richt’s comments on the situation made at the preseason practice news conference Thursday:

“Kolton obviously hasn’t been playing. He’s had an eligibility issue. Kolton’s family asked if we would make some things available. There’s a packet of things that you’ll all receive. It’s fairly technical stuff. … Ron Courson will be available later today. … We were going to wait until tomorrow but we figured we would just have it today so when you [write] your stories you’ll have all the information…

“Basically prior to Kolton coming to Georgia he had a shoulder surgery and unknowingly was given a substance that’s banned by the NCAA. So he ended up testing positive for that substance. It wasn’t like a recreational drug or anything like that.  . . .

“The NCAA has a protocol that if you test positive for that kind of thing, you miss a year of competition. So his first year he missed a year of competition. Over time you assume this substance will leave your body and you get to the point where the NCAA says you can go back and play. We’ll, we’ve been waiting for that moment and it hasn’t come. It’s been 2 ½ years and this thing, for whatever reason, has not gotten out of it. Ron will be able to tell you the story behind it. But he’s been tested probably more time than anybody in the history of college football. We’re 100 percent certain that he hasn’t continued to take this thing. It’s just never gotten far enough out of the system for him to be declared eligible to play. That’s about as much as I can explain in layman’s terms. Ron will be able to explain. The file’s a whole lot thicker than this but whatever Ron gives you all will hopefully help you understand better. …

“What does that do for us as a football team? We have to prepare as if he won’t be able to play. … We’ll have Watts Dantzler there, and Theus backing him up at the right tackle position.”

305 comments Add your comment

Meatgoggles

August 2nd, 2012
12:13 pm

Well I guess we are 16 scholarships under the limit now…FIRE CMR!!!!!

iago's yoda

August 2nd, 2012
12:13 pm

“More on this later.”
Crackerjack reportage, AJC.

DGD!

August 2nd, 2012
12:14 pm

Damn man. This is not what we needed

?

August 2nd, 2012
12:14 pm

give it a rest Kolt…over two years? come on man.

ForsythDawg

August 2nd, 2012
12:15 pm

Well – that hurts. I still can’t understand why we can’t seem to maintain a solid offensive line. This seems to be the primary issue EVERY year. Something needs to change. Soon.

JD

August 2nd, 2012
12:16 pm

Could this be the problem? “The consumption of edible parts of a non-castrated pig, containing 19-nortestosterone, has been shown to result in the excretion of 19-norandrosterone in the following hours, so athletes should prudently avoid meals composed of pig offal in the hours preceding doping tests.[6] Consumption of boar meat, liver, kidneys and heart also increased 19-norandrosterone output.[7]” You never know.

DGD!

August 2nd, 2012
12:16 pm

Yeah yoda brilliant. Fire the coach cause a kid beats his girlfriend, smokes pot and takes ped’s. If they didnt play for richt they would be playing on opening day anywhere else. Go find something better to do since you obviously have zero football knowledge

Brian

August 2nd, 2012
12:16 pm

Let the man play, he already sat out a year. Give us a break NCAA. We need him

Delbert D.

August 2nd, 2012
12:17 pm

From the Wiki: “The consumption of edible parts of a non-castrated pig, containing 19-nortestosterone, has been shown to results in the excretion of 19-norandrosterone in the following hours, so athletes should prudently avoid meals composed of pig offal in the hours preceding doping tests.”

I think I’d just say I took the steroid.

check it out

August 2nd, 2012
12:17 pm

where are the doctors to figure out why his body is not flushing out of system if he isn’t taking anything illegal.
It does happen and could be sign of different health problem.

Mark Richt aka "Ricky Bobby"

August 2nd, 2012
12:19 pm

If you wanna get HIGH then get HIGH on JESUS!

c ya

August 2nd, 2012
12:20 pm

I just laugh at the jealous, GA haters….they have no life.

Moobs Johnson

August 2nd, 2012
12:20 pm

Another one bites the dust, how long before Richt has a NFL-sized roster?

[...] it’s in and he’s out.  More details here. Share this:TwitterEmailStumbleUponRedditFacebookPrintDiggLike this:LikeBe the first to like [...]

Georgia Sports Reports

August 2nd, 2012
12:22 pm

iado’s yoga. He’s at the CMR press conference. Wake up.

bodidley

August 2nd, 2012
12:24 pm

Makes you woder how many more UGA players are “juiced up”

bucket

August 2nd, 2012
12:26 pm

If Houston and his family are telling the truth, then it’s time for them to produce some doctors/experts to explain how this is even possible. This situation has drug out for 2 years without any resolution. As for the NCAA, they allow schools to enact and enforce their own rules when it comes to the use of other drugs, but not peds? And before all the haters take over this blog, just ask yourself one question: What if the school I pull for had the same testing program that UGA has?

Phil MCreavis

August 2nd, 2012
12:27 pm

Could this be a hemroids on steroids scandal in the works?

Paddy

August 2nd, 2012
12:29 pm

Chip…..a follow-up article from a MD familiar with this topic could be enlightening. If he and his family say he is clean, could their be another (medical) explanation for his continued failures? How long before these chemicals leave the system, for example.

Mudcat's Impala....

August 2nd, 2012
12:32 pm

Kid has surgery 2.5 years ago, was given a banned substance in recovery by accident. Hasn’t taken it in 2 years and it’s still being detected in system. I feel for the kid. CMR, Family, everyone says he is clean and tested more than any NCAA player. No way he keeps working his butt off in the program and sabotages himself taking them. No way. Terrible to ruin his career.

So the NCAA has reams of testing and technical data on a kid who is trying to prove to them that he is clean and keeps hammering him. But, Dyer testifies under oath that he and much of AU players smoke weed or synthetic year round w/o repercussion from the school – NCAA doesn’t want to ‘intrude’ on schools and mandate uniform drug policy? Yep, sounds like they still pursue the most important issues out there (like selling a bowl jersey) and hammer those who are honest with them, while turning their head on the things that truly create an uneven playing field (roster management; drug/discipline policies; etc.). Idiots.

Dawg Haus

August 2nd, 2012
12:33 pm

rbirealty

August 2nd, 2012
12:34 pm

Does Kolton have asthma or an another disease that is commonly treated with steroids? Obviously, he’s taking some type of medication to treat something that has traces of this banned substance. If he has to live on the drug then he can’t play sports but at least identify what it is that’s causing the issue. Seems like anyone under constant watch and testing wouldn’t continue to blatantly use a banned substance and still ask to play. Some of you people commenting on here aren’t really that dumb are you?

Jim

August 2nd, 2012
12:36 pm

Can anyone remember when we didn’t start the season with O line problems??? To be successful this year the o line has to produce, the D has to stop the run, we have to protect the ball, and to get into the national championship picture we have to win all games by two TDs or better. If this kid wants to play he needs to spend some bucks to find out why he keeps testing positive. If it’s because it’s self inflected send him on his way and press on.

robodawg

August 2nd, 2012
12:36 pm

Curious how the substance stays in the system that long if there’s been no re-use. But if the family’s telling the truth, it’s certainly unfair to keep him from competing.

Reason and the NCAA rarely cross paths, so you just never know in these cases.

Paddy

August 2nd, 2012
12:37 pm

Is it ever possible to have elevated levels once you stop taking any drug? Not a Dr. but that seems to be question worth asking a professional in the health care field

rbirealty

August 2nd, 2012
12:38 pm

Thanks Mudcat…I was aware of the surgery.

Chris Mike

August 2nd, 2012
12:38 pm

This is bad. Another player down and nobody to blame. This year is going down the drain slowly.

WHY?

August 2nd, 2012
12:39 pm

Why does it seem we always have problems on the offensive line every year since CMR has been our coach?

PreyDawg

August 2nd, 2012
12:39 pm

The NCAA has always and will always have it in for us. This year it is Kolston’s turn to be targeted and destroyed. Next year it will be someone else. We are hosed from not till the end of time. The NCAA will come up with a clean test result on the last day of Kolston’s college eligibility.

Meanwhile, we will once again not be able to block. So no reliable run game. Not time to throw the ball and our entire scheme will be dictated by what we can do with no blocking.

Deanna

August 2nd, 2012
12:40 pm

Is this why nobody’s been able to compete with Buford?

Big Al

August 2nd, 2012
12:40 pm

Can we catch a break? ugghh

PreyDawg

August 2nd, 2012
12:40 pm

And dont forget. We still have our four to five major injuries coming up to kill our depth even more.

bucket

August 2nd, 2012
12:40 pm

So Emmert says that allowing Houston to compete undermines the drug testing system because other players are competing clean? That statement is laughable at face value! How does Emmert know that all the players that UGA competes against are clean? There’s no uniform drug policy in place for NCAA remember Mr. Emmert? On any given Saturday there are players competing all across America who are high on weed and other drugs and Emmert and everyone else knows it, but refuses to address the problem.

CMR's Integrity

August 2nd, 2012
12:40 pm

Son, quit taking the ROIDS!!!!

Dawg (sewer rat) 44

August 2nd, 2012
12:41 pm

UGAG lies and cheats and everybody knows it

just the truth

August 2nd, 2012
12:41 pm

Same thing happened at anther local school and the kid was kicked off the team for a year. Not just redshirting either!

Kolton is clean

August 2nd, 2012
12:42 pm

What happened to the Junkyard Blawg? Bill King’s blog disappeared from AJC site?

PMC

August 2nd, 2012
12:44 pm

Wait, the presense of this substance has not declined in 2.5 years? Did I read that incorrectly?

TOO TOUGH44

August 2nd, 2012
12:45 pm

wow. I just dont know..there should be some scientific way to rid his system of the problem. I sure hope so. Go DAWGS!

Isaiah Crowell

August 2nd, 2012
12:45 pm

Weedroids ? now dats a combo to tote!

old dog

August 2nd, 2012
12:45 pm

This is not where we need to be……o-line problems already have been the key factor to keeping us out of the type tier. Looks like that will continue!

a country boy can survive

August 2nd, 2012
12:46 pm

a product of the georgia high school system…most native georgians are corrupt…if not for the out of staters moving here, georgia would be mississippi without the nice looking women…

bucket

August 2nd, 2012
12:48 pm

For all the haters who can’t read, “due to the “declining value” argument that supported the conclusion that there was no use of the banned substance.” Again, it’s time for Houston’s family and UGA to produce medical experts and take the NCAA to task for this situation.

[...] OL due to steroids. They thought his eligibility would be restored this year but I guess not. UPDATED: Georgia OL Kolton Houston still ineligible due to banned substance | UGA sports blog I could just as easily see their wheels come off this year as I could them winning the east. They [...]

Burdell

August 2nd, 2012
12:48 pm

The people comparing the testing performance enhancing drugs like steroids with recreational drugs like cannabis are pretty funny.

Pot does nothing to help a football player play football…maybe a lineman gain a little weight but that’s it.

a country boy can survive

August 2nd, 2012
12:48 pm

What happened to the Junkyard Blawg? Bill King’s blog disappeared from AJC site?
______________________

we can hope so….

dawgster

August 2nd, 2012
12:48 pm

Ron Coursen with Uga…if you are a dawg fan you will know who.he is will speak on this later today and possibly provide some additional details.. the problem is that the levels of this substance takes a while to get out of your system and right now the test results are showing the levels exceeding NCAA limits..Also you can bet that if the was any feelings that the young man was continuing taken this banned substance, he would not be with the team….

Kolton is clean

August 2nd, 2012
12:49 pm

Thank goodness some people are logically questioning the medical practicalities as to why this is happening. This does not fall in the category of a kid recreationally taking a roid and continuing to do so after failing a test.
Haters need to get a life.

NCAA = USSR

August 2nd, 2012
12:51 pm

So you can pimp out your son, get special privileges (OSU), drive Escalades (UA), threaten to kill you girlfriend (UF), fail multiple drug test for mary jane (UF and others), and yet, the NCAA will never restrict your ability to play???

Mark Richt aka "Ricky Bobby"

August 2nd, 2012
12:51 pm

If you wanna Get JUICED then Get JUICED on JESUS!