MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

June 5, 2013

OU ace turns focus to LSU

By John Shinn
CNHI News Service

— NORMAN – Jonathan Gray didn’t have a lot to say Tuesday. A day after ESPN.com reported the Oklahoma pitcher tested positive for a banned stimulant in a pre-Major League Baseball draft drug test, Gray had only a brief statement for reporters.

“We all know we are going down to Louisiana, and it’s gonna be against a great team and a great atmosphere to play in,” he said. “We just have to focus on getting back to Omaha and my job is to do everything I can to help us get there.”

The Sooners (43-19) face LSU (55-9) at 6 p.m. Friday in the opening game of their NCAA tournament Super Regional series at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.

Gray did not field any questions about the report that he tested positive for Adderall or whether he will be on the mound when the Sooners open their NCAA tournament Super Regional series against LSU Friday night in Baton Rouge, La.

All indications are Gray will start the series opener.

“As the head coach at the University of Oklahoma, it’s real simple, cut and dry,” OU coach Sunny Golloway said. “The NCAA has their drug testing and their rules. The university – our institution – has its drug testing and its rules in place. As coaches we have to follow those. And we do right down to the last letter.

“At this point in time, Jon Gray in an eligible student-athlete like all the rest of them. He’s held accountable like all of the team is held accountable. That’s the end of the story. Anything else coming from an outside source is just that – it’s an outside source.

“As far as we’re concerned, it is what it is. We’re gonna move forward and he’s gonna be on the mound Friday and I always enjoy watching him pitch.”

Adderall is on the NCAA’s list of banned stimulants unless prescribed by a physician. However, the drug test Gray took was administered by Major League Baseball to 200 of the top prospects eligible for the 2013 MLB draft. The NCAA and OU were not privy to the results.

OU players are subject to random drug testing by the school throughout the year. The Big 12 Conference conducted random drug tests during the Big 12 tournament. The NCAA also randomly tested several OU players during last week’s regional tournament in Blacksburg, Va., and will randomly select players for testing from both OU and LSU after each game of the Super Regional series.

However, Gray, who is 10-2 this season, is under much more intense light. He is widely considered one of the top prospects in this year’s draft and could go as high as No. 1 overall to the Houston Astros when the first round begins Thursday night.

How the report of him testing positive for the stimulant affects his to stock with Major League Baseball will be answered Thursday night. As far as the circus surrounding Gray, it hasn’t distracted players.

“Jon’s been a great teammate and we trust him 100 percent,” OU catcher Anthony Hermelyn said.