Free-agent quarterback JaMarcus Russell told ESPN’s Colleen Dominguez that he tested positive for codeine after the Raiders selected him with the No. 1 pick in the 2007 draft.
“I missed all of training camp, so I didn’t get tested when all the other guys got tested,” Russell told Dominguez during an “Outside The Lines” interview, the entirety of which can be seen at 9 a.m. ET Aug. 22. “I had a prescription from a doctor, but it wasn’t the team doctor.”
Russell also said he has used codeine without a prescription, but scoffed at reports that he had a drug problem.
RussellRussell said the allegations of drug use stem from that positive test, and said he has not used codeine in three years.
When asked about Russell’s positive test, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said, “No comment.”
The former LSU star — who had missed the 2007 training camp because of a lengthy contract holdout that stretched to the start of the regular season — said the Raiders came to him and asked him about his possible drug use early in his career.
“Around the time when I first got there or a year after I got there,” Russell said, when asked when the Raiders confronted him. “[They] said they were gettin’ word in the streets about me using drugs. Then, one of the doctors came to me.”