Moss admits smoking marijuana since entering NFL

Updated: August 18, 2005, 10:58 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- Oakland Raiders receiver Randy Moss admits he has used marijuana since entering the NFL seven years ago and still smokes it "every blue moon."

"I have used, you know, marijuana ... since I've been in the league," Moss said in an interview for HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" scheduled to air Tuesday night. "But as far as abusing it and, you know, letting it take control over me, I don't do that, no."

When pressed whether he still smokes marijuana, the star receiver with the checkered past said: "I might. I might have fun. And, you know, hopefully ... I won't get into any trouble by the NFL by saying that, you know. I have had fun throughout my years and, you know, predominantly in the offseason.

"But, you know, I don't want any kids, you know, watching this taking a lesson from me as far as 'Well, Randy Moss used it so I'm going to use it.' I don't want that to get across. Like I say ... I have used [marijuana] in the past. And every blue moon or every once in a while I might."

Moss addressed the interview Thursday night after practice in Houston, saying his statements were about the past. He didn't answer questions.

"A lot of people are jumping to conclusions because they really don't know the real story or haven't even heard the real story yet," he said. "That was really me talking in the past tense of way back in the beginning of my career and my childhood -- especially in high school and college."

Raiders coach Norv Turner said he would reserve comment until he had watched the program.

"I imagine I'll see it and yes then I'll have a discussion with Randy about it," he said.

Moss's agent, Dante DiTrapano, said HBO was trying to intentionally damage the player's reputation. He said Moss was talking about past use in the interview.

"In an attempt to promote their dying network, they have maliciously couched his remarks in a manner that is confusing and leaves room for negative interpretation," DiTrapano told The Associated Press. "Randy is not in the NFL substance abuse program and has complied with all urinalysis required by the league, the team, insurance companies, endorsers, etc."

HBO spokesman Ray Stallone said the network had no reaction to DiTrapano's comments.

"It's worth noting that the portion of the interview to which Mr. DiTrapano appears to be referencing was complete and unaltered," Stallone said. "We believe Randy's remarks speak for themselves."

The NFL's drug policy calls for up to 10 tests a month after one positive result. A second violation results in a fine equal to the player's salary for four games, a third in a four-game suspension, and a year's suspension for a fourth violation.

Moss has never been suspended for violating the league's drug policy and NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said it is confidential whether the receiver is in the drug program or not.

"We evaluate all conduct related to substance abuse and it is handled confidentially by the doctors," Aiello said.

Moss, however, did test positive several years ago and had to submit to up to 10 drug tests a month. After testing clean in the two subsequent years following the positive test, Moss rotated out of the NFL's drug program.

Moss was traded from the Minnesota Vikings in early March. He was limited by a hamstring injury last season and finished with 49 catches for 767 yards and 13 touchdowns. It was the first time in his seven seasons that he didn't reach 1,000 yards receiving.

Moss has had problems on and off the field throughout his college and pro career. He lost scholarships at Notre Dame and Florida State because of a battery charge and marijuana use. He set records at Marshall and clearly was the most dynamic receiver in the 1998 draft, but lasted until 21st overall because of his past trouble.

Last year, Moss was fined $10,000 for pretending to pull down his pants and moon the Green Bay crowd during Minnesota's playoff win. He also drew criticism for leaving the field with 2 seconds left in a regular-season loss against Washington.

Other transgressions include bumping a traffic control officer with his car in 2002, verbally abusing corporate sponsors on a team bus in 2001 and squirting an official with a water bottle in 1999.