Five Fail Drug Tests, Castillo Admits Using Steriods
By Frank Cooney
April 13, 2005 -- At least five NFL draft prospects tested positive for banned substances -- including one for steroids -- during the Indy Combines in February, NFL team officials confirmed Wednesday with The Sports Xchange and NFLDraftScout.com.
Topping the list is Northwestern defensive tackle Luis Castillo, who acknowledged in a letter to all 32 NFL teams that he took steroids following the 2004 season. Sources identified the drug as androstenedione, commonly referred to as andro.
Castillo moved steadily up most charts recently and was rated by NFLDraftScout.com as the No. 4 defensive tackle, the No. 46 overall player. He rose from a mid second round prospect to one whose name showed up on some lists in the bottom of the first round.
Four other draft prospects, including one projected to be selected as high as the second round, tested positive for marijuana at combine workouts.
They included two from Wisconsin -- Anttaj Hawthorne, rated by NFLDraftScout.com as the fifth best defensive tackle and 58th ranked player in the draft, and Jonathan Clinkscale, listed as the 14th best guard and 202nd best player overall.
Also failing tests at Indy were Clemson senior defensive tackle Eric Coleman and Bowie State senior safety Atcheson Conway. Coleman was rated the 12th best defensive tackle in the draft and figured to go as high as the fourth round, but is expected to fall now. Conway is listed as the 14th strong safety, 410th overall and a free agent prospect.
All of the players testing positive will enter into stage one of the NFL substance abuse program, which subjects them to reasonable-cause testing up to 24 times a year and the possibility of counseling.
The NFL does not issue official comments regarding players' drug tests.
Castillo's coach, Randy Walker, sent an accompanying letter to the teams, stating that Castillo never tested positive for steroids in college. Castillo reportedly provided NFL teams with evidence from his testing history at Northwestern.
Castillo was bothered last season by an elbow injury and dropped below his usual playing weight of around 300 pounds. But he weighed 303 at the combine, where he turned in an exceptional workout, which helped boost him on some draft charts.
Officials from two teams said they wouldn't move him down in their ratings, but conceded others might because a second offense could result in suspension.
In a piece of interesting damage control, Castillo is telling teams that if he fails another drug test he will return his signing bonus.
John Murphy of NLScouting.com contributed to this report.
Interesting considering that Castillo and Coleman are two players that we've mentioned in the past or currently as targets for the Falcons. The question will be how these revelations will affect these guys on our draft board. I'd imagine it will likely drop them a bit, but considering Castillo's use was after school, I'd imagine he wouldn't drop very far.