Sources: Owens placed in 'reasonable cause' testing program
On the same day the Dallas Cowboys announced that wide receiver Terrell Owens had agreed to a contract extension with $13 million in guaranteed money, Owens was in New York meeting with NFL officials after being placed in the league's "reasonable cause" testing program for performance-enhancing drugs, sources told ESPN.
Owens was placed in the program because he missed day-of telephone calls to set up random tests, the sources said. A player who misses a test can be subject to disciplinary action, but because Owens had a "plausible" explanation, league administrators decided he would not be suspended or fined.
Owens acknowledged Monday having missed the test several weeks ago, blaming it on a "communication problem involving cell phone numbers."
In an interview with The Associated Press, Owens said: "I'm not really worried about anything. It's not a big deal. Anything I do is going to grab headlines. I have nothing to hide. I've made a statement and that's it. It's basically a dead issue."
Earlier he issued a statement that read: "It was openly discussed and cleared up in a meeting that I had at the NFL office last week. I have been in the NFL for over 12 years and have never had a positive test for substance of any kind. That includes tests that took place as recently as last month. The matter was resolved to everyone's satisfaction last Tuesday, and everyone has moved on."
Owens can now be randomly tested for performance enhancers up to a maximum of 24 annual screenings, and these additional screenings can be required, if the NFL chooses to do so, for the remainder of his NFL career.