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USC Player Has Positive Steroid Test

Sources say that Brandon Ting, who left football program last week, failed drug test.

August 02, 2006|Gary Klein | Times Staff Writer

Brandon Ting, a USC defensive back who unexpectedly left the program last week, had tested positive for steroids, sources said Tuesday.

On Friday, USC announced that Ting and his twin brother, Ryan, also a defensive back, had decided to stop playing football so they could concentrate on preparing for medical school. The Tings, who are seniors, played mainly as back-ups and on special teams last season.

Brandon Ting could not be reached for comment.

Asked if Brandon Ting had tested positive for steroids, Coach Pete Carroll said, "I can't comment about any of these allegations, about his personal deal."

Carroll said athletes in all sports are tested randomly for drugs and steroids throughout the year.

Brandon and Ryan Ting are the sons of Arthur Ting, a Bay Area orthopedic surgeon who has operated on several professional athletes, including Barry Bonds. Arthur Ting has reportedly appeared as a witness before a grand jury considering possible perjury charges against Bonds.

Brandon and Ryan Ting graduated a semester early from James Logan High in Woodside, Calif., and enrolled at USC in the spring of 2003. Both graduated from USC last spring with degrees in American studies and ethnicity, earning grade-point averages above 3.8

The twins participated in spring practice and also in summer workouts. But less than a week before today's reporting date for the start of training camp, the school announced they would not play this season.

In a statement released by the school Friday, Ryan Ting said, "For the past 3 1/2 years, Brandon and I have been able to balance the demands of football and academics. Now, as our focus turns toward medical school, we realized it was in our best interests to end our playing careers. We realized we couldn't balance both if we want to be serious about med school."

Brandon Ting appeared in all 13 games last season, made 12 tackles and intercepted a pass.

In an interview that appeared on the WeAreSC.com website Monday, the Ting brothers said they began to consider leaving the program in January. They said they were enrolled in a post-baccalaureate program at USC to prepare for medical school.

"Ultimately, we want to be remembered as people who did what they could for the team in any which way or form -- and had fun doing it," Brandon Ting told the website. "We want to be remembered as hard workers who, when given the opportunities, did what they could to help the team. Our teammates know who we are and I'm sure, based on the relationship we've had with the fans, they know who we are as people, too. Hopefully that will take precedence over some of the negative experiences we've had."

Ryan Ting said he had received death threats after the Rose Bowl game because he failed to intercept a pass thrown by Vince Young late in the game.

According to NCAA rule 14.1.1.1, "A student-athlete who is found to have utilized a substance on the list of banned drugs, through a positive drug test administered by the NCAA ... shall be declared ineligible for further participation in postseason and regular-season competition."

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