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How OU’s Jonathan Gray is Eligible

An MLB pre-draft drug test taken by Oklahoma pitcher Jonathan Gray came up positive for Adderall, a substance banned by both MLB and the NCAA. Yet Oklahoma has confirmed Gray is eligible to compete in this weekend’s Super Regional series against LSU. How is that possible?

The NCAA’s strict drug testing penalties are only ever imposed for a positive test during NCAA drug testing. The NCAA’s Student-Athlete Statement requires that an athlete who tests positive for an NCAA banned substance by an outside sports governing body must report the result to his or her athletic director, not the NCAA.

From there, the NCAA’s rules on institutional drug testing policies would kick in. Those rules only require that schools follow their drug testing policies. They do not require that an institution have any specific features or penalties in their drug testing policy, or even to have a drug testing policy at all.

This copy of OU’s drug testing policy (admittedly from 2006) does not specifically address outside tests and whether they count as violations of the drug testing policy. But even if Gray’s MLB test counted as a violation of OU’s drug testing policy, he would not be suspended from any competition for a first violation. This is fairly standard among institutional drug testing policies.

Gray’s bigger issue is that as OU progresses in the NCAA tournament, drug testing becomes more likely and more frequent. If Gray were to test positive for Adderall in an NCAA test, he would be suspended for a year and lose a season of eligibility, which would mean his college career would be over.

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