Judge discards drug rumors, clears Raiders QB Marinovich

April 24, 1992|By Los Angeles Daily News

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- 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 Raiders' 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.

"I don't know who started the ugly rumor, but I'm glad he completed the program and I wish him the best," Shaw said.

Marinovich did not attend yesterday's hearing. He was represented by lawyer Tom Goethals, who said about the ESPN report: "We looked into it, probation looked into it and couldn't find any substance to it."

Del Wright, supervising deputy district attorney for Harbor Municipal Court, said he saw nothing on the probation report that indicated that the NFL had been contacted. "I can't answer how it [the ESPN report] was checked out," he said.

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