On Friday, Evan Russell was not in Tennessee’s lineup. While covering a game between Missouri State and Oklahoma State, ESPN broadcaster Troy Eklund told the world it had to do with a failed drug test.
“It was pretty crazy, failed a drug test so Evan Russell is suspended for the rest of the season,” said Eklund, via Knox News. “So Tennessee is going to have the whole rest of the team tested tomorrow, or the NCAA is. So it’s going to be interesting to see if that’s just a one-player thing or throughout that is going through that whole entire program. Performance enhancing drugs is what it was said.”
Tennessee not only refuted the claim, but also demanded a public apology.
“Evan Russell’s absence last night had nothing to do with any violation of team, NCAA, or SEC rules,” Tennessee said. “We have been in contact with ESPN and they are aware of the situation regarding last night’s comments made on their broadcast. ESPN is handling the situation and we are expecting a public apology from them later today.”
Eklund has since issued an apology for his report.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize to Tennessee’s Evan Russell and the Volunteer program for inaccurate, unsourced information I used Friday night during the Stillwater Regional.”
Russell’s father, Jason, said it was related to a health issue.
“Evan will an evaluation/physical with the Doctor this morning,” Jason said. “He hasn’t failed any type of test or anything.He had a health issue arise that kept from from playing Yesterday. This is standard testing to be done. Evan will most likely be available today. God bless.”