On Thursday, Pat Moran of BuffaloSportsDaily.com reported that on July 28, Buffalo Bills linebacker Shawne Merriman had been discovered in possession of steroids by United States Customs while trying to cross from Canada into the US for the start of Bills training camp. Pat had tipped me off a full three weeks ago that he was working on the story, so the news did not catch me by surprise.
Less than a day later, the story appears dead in the water.
Merriman issued a vehement denial of the allegations (here and here), then spoke with Mark Gaughan of The Buffalo News about the events of the night of July 28. Information is limited, as Merriman was not arrested, and privacy regulations prevent government offices from providing details of a stop that did not result in the discovery of any illegal activity.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk points out that a loophole in the original report that could indicate Merriman still did have steroids also appears iffy, as it is illegal to carry steroids, and if Merriman wasn't arrested, it means he didn't have them (or he had a prescription for them, another high improbability). We tend to agree with Florio's take.
Even if you believe Moran and think Merriman had steroids, the fact that he wasn't arrested stops the story dead in its tracks. Believe what you like at this point, but when Week 1 rolls around, Merriman will be on the field in Kansas City.