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Jim McElwain discusses QB David Moore's positive test for banned substance, NCAA suspension


Central Michigan quarterback David Moore throws a pass against Western Michigan Sept. 28 at Waldo Stadium in Kalamazoo.

David Moore was devastated.

Jim McElwain felt bad.

The entire Central Michigan football program was shocked.

Just two days after leading the Chippewas to a 42-16 victory over in-state rival Eastern Michigan, the junior quarterback was administered a drug test.

Moore failed.

There was an NCAA banned substance in his system, something that Central Michigan said was likely caused by an over-the-counter supplement. Due to the positive test for a performance-enhancing drug, Moore was immediately suspended by the NCAA.

The university will appeal the suspension, but it's typically a lengthy process. If the decision is upheld, Moore will have to sit out of competition until October 7, 2020. 

“You just feel for him," McElwain said. "I know I’ve made a ton of mistakes. It’s something you have to deal with. The really good thing is that he’s got great support here, great support from our compliance office, our administration and his teammates."

Moore missed practice Oct. 8 to work on the appeals process at the compliance office department. He explained to the compliance office what over-the-counter supplement he was taking.

McElwain said he doesn't know the specifics.

"I’m not a chemist by any stretch of the imagination," McElwain said. "It’s something I know you can get anywhere."

Before the season began, McElwain said the members of the athletic department went through the list of banned substances with everyone on the roster. He said it's a standard procedure.

Moore, along with the rest of the team, was told to check with the team trainers before taking any type of supplement – regardless of if it was prescribed or purchased over-the-counter.

"One of the things that is stressed in all those meetings is that before you do anything, you want to check whatever is in it with the trainers," McElwain said. "In this case, it's an innocent mistake. You just feel bad.”

This is the second time McElwain has had a quarterback suspended by the NCAA for failing a drug test. The first occurred when McElwain was the head coach at Florida from 2015-17.

In October 2015, Florida quarterback Will Grier was ruled ineligible for a full year after testing positive for a banned substance, later made known as Ligandrol, from an over-the-counter nutritional supplement.

The NCAA denied the appeal from Grier and the Gators.

“Everybody can say what they want," McElwain said when asked about the coincidence that two of his quarterbacks were suspended for an over-the-counter product. "I mean, obviously they are all separate situations. This one, you just feel bad, really bad. I felt bad for both of them. It’s unfortunate.

"Again, these are mistakes that happen. The biggest thing is to know that he has our support in every way, shape and form as we go through it.”

Even though Moore is unable to play in games, he is allowed to practice, according to NCAA rules. McElwain has him working on the scout team to help prepare for opponents each week.

"He was out at practice today and did a really good job," McElwain said. "It was good to have him out there because he has great support from his teammates, all of us."

McElwain said Moore was "devastated" when he found out about the failed test. 

"I’m sure there aren’t a lot of people in this world that haven’t made a mistake, an unknowing mistake," McElwain added. "You feel horrible for the kids when that happens."

Graduate transfer Quinten Dormady, who started the first two weeks before going down with a knee injury, is back to full health. McElwain named him the starting quarterback moving forward.