Dallas Cowboy rookie defensive end Alex Stewart, acquired from the Minnesota Vikings in last month's trade for Herschel Walker, was released Thursday.
Stewart, who attended Cal State Fullerton, was cut from the Cowboys six-man development squad in part because the team suspected he was using steroids, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported in Friday's editions.
The newspaper said a "highly place team source" said the Cowboys suspected Stewart of violating the National Football League's substance abuse policy.
The Star-Telegram also reported that "three other league sources," none of which was named, confirmed that Stewart tested positive for steroids on a drug test administered recently at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
Stewart, who finished his college career at Fullerton, was part of a complicated, players-and-picks deal that sent Walker to the Vikings last month. Now that Stewart has been released, Dallas will receive a No. 2 draft pick in 1990 from the Vikings, the newspaper said.
Cowboys Coach Jimmy Johnson refused to discuss the issue of steroids, saying Stewart was released because of poor work habits and had failed to improve as the team had hoped.
Bruce Allen, the agent who represents Stewart, said at least one NFL team interested in Stewart called to find out if steroids were involved in the Cowboys' decision.
"Those are just rumors," Allen said. "As far as I know, there is no evidence. He took two drug tests with the Vikings and obviously was not suspended.