Georgia Calls NCAA's Claims "Unsupported"

ATHENS – Georgia argues that there "are inherent flaws" in the NCAA's drug testing program, which is leading to Kolton Houston's ineligibility.

In a 19-page packet released to the media, the Athletic Association argues that Houston is a victim of the NCAA's "flawed" drug testing, and that he should be able to play right now – stating that there is scientific evidence that Houston has not re-used performance-enhancing drugs in two-and-a-half years.

The Athletic Association writes that Houston was given a banned substance by a doctor.

"Prior to his enrollment at Georgia he sustained a series of shoulder injuries while in high school and unfortunately he was directed to an unscrupulous physician who injected him with a banned substance," Associate Athletic Director for Sports Medicine Ron Courson wrote in a letter to Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity on July 9, 2012.

Courson goes on to slam the NCAA's drug testing program.

"There are inherent flaws in the current NCAA Drug Testing Program which had been raised many times before by sports medicine professionals, but never addressed adequately by the NCAA," Coursan wrote. "One of the hallmarks of drug testing is serial, or repeat, testing in order to track the levels on an individual and document a downward trend. The NCAA does not do this."

Houston was banned for life by the NCAA at one point, according to Courson's letter. But Georgia says that Houston has been tested by the school, and passed the school's testing.

"Fortunately for (Houston) we have our own institutional drug testing to protect him from an unfair and unsupported accusation," Courson wrote.

Mark Emmert, the president of the NCAA, wrote in response to McGarity's letter asking for Houston's reinstatement two days before Georgia's fall camp to say he was surprised Georgia was trying to get Houston to compete in games.

"While I understand the institution's empathy for Kolton's situation, I am surprised that the institution would make such a request (for Houston's reinstatement)," Emmert said. "(Not taking performance-enhancing drugs) is the expectation for all of our student-athletes. The fact remains that Kolton currently has the presence of a banned substance in his system, and he will not be able to participate in NCAA competition until that presence drops to an appropriate threshold."

The move by Georgia to release medical information is unprecedented in the last decade. There are "KH" initials at the bottom-right-hand corner of each page released with medical information. In the past two years Georgia coach Mark Richt, Courson, and Athletic Association officials have not commented on Houston's situation. Today Georgia released the 19 pages to the media just after Richt's pre-season press conference.

The NCAA media relations office did not return multiple phone calls in response to Georgia's statements.

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