Castillo wont bring mistake to San Diego

The surprise with theSan Diego Chargers drafting Luis Castillo has to do with his positive test for androstenedione, a banned substance by the league, at the Combines.

With banned substances a hot topic around the sports world, the debate will rage on whether Luis Castillo was offered a free pass for his mistake.

The Chargers counter by saying they have done their own investigation into the matter and have laid the matter to rest.

"If we weren't comfortable with it, he would not be a San Diego Charger," General Manager A.J. Smith said bluntly.

"I don't think there's any question about the character of the young man," head coach Marty Schottenheimer echoed. "Any research that you might do would indicate that. To suggest that because a young man did this one time means that he lacks character is unrealistic and, quite frankly, unfair."

Castillo, for his part, owned up to his mistake and worked diligently to ensure every team in the NFL had the information. He followed up by sending each team his medical reports from his time at Northwestern, showing a clean rap sheet.

A torn ligament in his elbow was the cause of the foray into androstenedione, an attempt to heal his injury quickly to get back to peak performance.

Castillo said he had been in pain throughout his senior season and was having a tough time lifting weights and performing the way he expected to.

"I was having a hard time getting back to the level I've always known I've been at," said Castillo. "Not being able to workout the way I wanted to and prepare the way I wanted to for this, the biggest opportunity of my life, I got scared.

"I made a huge mistake. For the fist time in my life, to do all the right things and then to have a slip up like this question your character and your morals and things like that. It's been really, really tough."

Castillo is subject to reasonable-cause testing while in the league, meaning he could be tested up to 24 times a year.

The injury to his elbow isn't at 100 percent according to Castillo. He admits there is some soreness in it, but it is a lot better than at the end of his senior season.

At that time, he couldn't even bench the 45-pound bar, couldn't hold the bar over his head to do squats and that kept him out of practice for his final campaign. Whether it was the androstenedione, hard work or a combination of both, Castillo has his strength back.

"Right now I'm in a position where I'm lifting everything," Castillo said. "I'm squatting, benching, cleaning, doing contact drills. I'm back."

During the draft, the shift from the floor of the draft to the ‘Cold Pizza' lounge pitted Trent Green, Jon Jansen and Mike Vrabel against each other to debate whether Castillo being picked so high was sending the wrong message. Each had their views as many others will have but Castillo is to be commended on one avenue.

Castillo openly told reporters that "I'm willing to put it in my contract that I'll never test positive for anything again. If I do, I'll return my entire signing bonus."

Now that is putting his money where the "andro" is and owning up to his mistakes with real incentive tied to it. There can be no debate about that willingness to tie his mistake into his contract.

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