The curious case of Kristian Fulton took a huge turn Thursday when the NCAA reinstated the LSU cornerback after suspending him nearly 19 months ago. Here's a breakdown of Fulton's fight since his suspension.
LSU cornerback Kristian Fulton, a prized five-star talent from New Orleans, was ruled Thursday immediately eligible after the NCAA overturned a two-year ban imposed in February 2017. Fulton’s family has fought the ruling for nearly 19 months. Sports Illustrated created a timeline of events in the Fulton case, based on interviews and documents it obtained.
Feb. 2, 2017: Fulton uses another person’s urine during an NCAA PED test, thinking the test was for street drugs, is caught and gives his own sample (he’s in the testing facility, Broussard Hall, from 6:01-8:32 a.m.).
The test administer, Jason Shoemake, noticed Fulton pouring the contents of a small bottle into the beaker the player was expected to fill with his own sample. When approached, Fulton poured the contents of the beaker into a urinal and began to fill the beaker with his own urine sample.
Feb. 8, 2017: The NCAA confirms the tampering charge with LSU; a two-year penalty is then enforced.
Feb. 13, 2017: LSU informs the NCAA that Fulton has decided to appeal his suspension.
March 8, 2017: An NCAA appeals committee hears and denies Fulton.
March 27, 2017: A lab reports Fulton’s sample tests negative for PEDs but contains 5.4 ng of THC. Fulton’s sample was 0.4 ng/ml above the NCAA’s THC threshold of 5 ng/ml at the time of that test. However, the NCAA’s THC threshold has already changed within the last year, increasing to 15 ng/ml, the same as LSU’s school threshold.
Summer 2017: The Fulton family hires Alabama-based lawyer Don Jackson.
March 12, 2018: The Advocate first publishes news of Fulton’s situation.
May 31, 2018: A New York forensic panel agrees with Fulton's family that proper drug-testing protocol was not followed during the drug test.
June 13, 2018: Sports Illustrated, through dozens of documents, outlines Fulton’s unusual situation that many in college football believe is unfair.
“Hard?!” Kristian’s father, Keith, said at the time. “Hard is not the word. It’s been tough, tough on me, my family, tough on him. A lot of people think he was on steroids. That’s not the truth.”
July 27, 2018: After Jackson files what’s called a “reconsideration,” the NCAA announces that it will reopen the case.
According to Jackson, new evidence to the case is the reason behind the NCAA's decision. New York-based forensic science practice, The Forensic Panel, discovered the NCAA's testing procedure in Fulton's case lacked a "valid chain of custody" meaning there was something wrong with the transfer of the physical test sample.
Aug. 3 2018: LSU sends the NCAA reconsideration committee a letter fighting for Fulton to be ruled eligible immediately.
Aug. 9, 2018: An NCAA reconsideration committee denies Fulton.
"We will pursue a waiver to get him on the field. That starts tomorrow. That is still a possibility. Candidly, this is extremely disappointing. They made the wrong decision," Fulton' attorney Don Jackson said.
Aug. 17, 2018: LSU AD Joe Alleva sends a four-page letter to an NCAA interpretation panel arguing that Fulton was charged incorrectly.
#LSU AD Joe Alleva sent to the NCAA a 4-page letter outlining reasons for reinstating Kristian Fulton.— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) August 23, 2018
The biggest: The NCAA charged Fulton with "tampering" (2 year penalty) & he should have been charged with "urine substitution" (1-year penalty). Interpretation committee agreed
Aug. 23, 2018: An NCAA interpretation panel agrees and rules Fulton eligibility immediately, pending an LSU exit test.