Judge discards drug rumors, clears Raiders QB Marinovich

April 24, 1992

Discarding rumors that Todd Marinovich had failed an NFL drug test last December, Harbor Municipal Court Judge Susanne S. Shaw dismissed all drug charges against the Los Angeles Raiders quarterback yesterday after determining he had successfully completed a yearlong diversion program.

Marinovich, 22, was arrested in Newport Beach last year for misdemeanor possession of cocaine and marijuana.

Shaw cleared his record and absolved him of any further charges for completing the diversion program as a first-time offender.

Complicating yesterday's hearing was an ESPN report last week that Marinovich had tested positive for an undisclosed banned substance soon after the playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Dec. 28. Marinovich has denied the report.

The Orange County Probation Department was told by Shaw to check out the information.

In its report submitted yesterday, the probation department called the ESPN report "merely rumor," according to Shaw, and found "no proof" to substantiate the allegation.

* OILERS: Defensive lineman Sean Jones has filed suit against the NFL, alleging it denied him his ability to negotiate as a free agent.

Similar suits have been filed by other NFL players, including Gill Byrd of the Chargers and Marcus Allen of the Raiders.

Jones, an eight-year veteran, signed a three-year, $2.4 million contract at the beginning of last season after holding out through the preseason.

The suit, filed yesterday in federal court in Los Angeles, accused the NFL of violating antitrust laws by prohibiting players the opportunity to negotiate new contracts with the teams of their choice once their current contracts expire.

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