Postscripts — Sept. 11 blog

Today's entry of "Postscripts" focuses on David Boston, who we now know tested positive for GHB, or the date rape drug, after his traffic stop in Pinellas Park on Aug. 23.

Tuesday, Sept. 11

Boston's saga continues

David Boston had GHB in his system when he was arrested in Pinellas Park for DUI, according to the Pinellas Park Police Department, which released the information on Monday.

GHB is commonly referred to as a date rape drug because it can render a user unconscious. Boston was found unconscious on a road in Pinellas Park on Aug. 23.

According to published reports, Boston had 870 micrograms per milliliter of GHB in his urine. Cynthia Lewis-Younger, medical director for the Florida Poison Information Center in Tampa, told the Tampa Tribune that the amount is four times what one would expect to see in the urine of someone who received a prescribed, legitimate dose.

The drug is believed by some of to have bodybuilding properties, but that has not been proven. GHB is an illegal substance under law, but the NFL does not test for the drug, so it does not fall under the league's substance abuse policy. Nevertheless, NFL spokesperson Greg Aiello said a violation of substance abuse law is a violation of the league's personal conduct policy.

So the NFL will continue to monitor the case until its conclusion.

Boston's previous legal issues include a plea of no contest to two misdemeanor counts of testing positive for marijuana and cocaine after a traffic stop in 2002. He also earned a four-game suspension in 2004 from the NFL for violating the league's steroid policy. Boston appeal, but the appeal was denied.

Buccaneers general manager Bruce Allen — who vehemently supported Boston on Aug. 25 — had this to say through a statement on Monday:

"We are taking the allegations in [Monday's] report released by the Pinellas Park Police Department very seriously and we will continue to review all information as it becomes available," Allen said. "We will reserve further comment until all the facts surrounding the investigation are complete."

My take: I feel the need to set off my opinion because I don't want it confused with the facts of this case as we know them. GHB is becoming a common drug in the athletic community because some believe it has bodybuilding and recovery properties, and because the NFL doesn't test for it they believe that makes it a better alternative to steroids. But if you take a good amount of GHB, as Boston must have for his test to be considered that extreme, it can cause hallucinations and even psychosis, according to doctors. That may explain reports that Boston told police he was on his way to Tampa International Airport from Orlando to leave for a preseason game a full day before the Bucs were to depart for Miami, and more than a week after the Bucs returned from Orlando and training camp.

I think this will likely lead to a suspension for Boston, at least for four games, given that he has a history with the NFL. Boston hasn't given an explanation yet, though he said he's innocent. The NFL usually conducts its own investigation in these cases, so a suspension could come before the trial, if the NFL feels it has Boston cold. If he's found guilty, the NFL could suspend him longer than four games. I would expect, though, that Boston's lawyers will seek a plea agreement of some kind.

And, maybe it's time for the NFL to consider making GHB a banned substance. Why? Well, read this story on a young Tampa athlete and you'll find out why.

The players are off today. See you Wednesday.

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