Quarterback Tony Robinson, whose presence with the Washington Redskins has stirred controversy along the striking players' picket line, was cleared to practice and play with the nonunion team, the National Football League announced yesterday.

Robinson, who pleaded no contest last November to charges of attempting to deliver cocaine, passed a urinalysis drug test over the weekend, his attorney said. Under the conditions of the NFL's approval, Robinson must avoid further drug-related misconduct and "any other conduct detrimental to the Redskins and the NFL," the Redskins announced.

Although Robinson, who signed a one-year contract, has been with the Redskins less than a week, the team likes what it has seen. Robert Ritchie, Robinson's attorney in Knoxville, Tenn., said Redskins executive vice president John Kent Cooke told him Saturday afternoon he "certainly hoped Tony could remain with the Redskins regardless of the outcome of the strike."

Cooke said last night at Redskin Park that if roster sizes increase after the strike, as expected, he hopes "that {Robinson} does make the squad."

"The coaches do like what they see of this quarterback. Regardless of whether he becomes a Redskin or not, I'm sure he has the ability to play for some NFL club."

Robinson said he would like to play for the Redskins after the strike. "There would probably be a few days of tough times," Robinson said, "but I won't let that get to me."

The striking Redskins, however, say they don't want Robinson on their team.

"I sure hope he's not on it," said player representative Neal Olkewicz. "Last night, we held a team meeting and made a promise that we were not going to play with that guy. There are other guys who have not crossed the line, guys like Babe {Laufenberg} and Rick Badanjek, who we would rather want back with the team. Realistically, we don't want {nonunion players} on the team."

Coach Joe Gibbs and General Manager Bobby Beathard said they don't plan to say if they would like Robinson to play on their team until after a game or two, at the very earliest.

"I think that's an evaluation we all have to make when this whole thing's over," Beathard said.

The striking Redskins said yesterday they had heard a rumor Robinson had received a guaranteed contract, which would mean he would be paid if he made the team or not. Cooke, Gibbs and Beathard all denied that was the case.

"Nobody on this football team has a guaranteed contract," Gibbs said. "That's ridiculous."

In a related development, Laufenberg apologized to Robinson for a comment he made on WTBS Saturday. Laufenberg said, "I wonder how proud the Redskins' fans are to have a felon on their team."

"I had no right to say that," Laufenberg said yesterday on the picket line. "It was a stupid thing to say. I regret saying it. I apologize to Tony Robinson and I apologize to the Redskins. It's none of my business. I try to think before I talk and this is one instance where I did not do that."

Robinson, once a star quarterback at Tennessee, was sentenced to six years in prison on the drug-related charges, but was put on probation for all but 90 days. He had originally faced 22 felony charges that could have landed him in prison for life. Shortly after being sentenced to the Knox County (Tenn.) Penal Farm, a minimum security facility, he applied for work release. He later violated the conditions of his work release and was sentenced to an extra six months in the penal farm and an extra year of probation. Ritchie said Robinson has approximately 90 days left in the penal farm, to be served when his football season ends.

Robinson, who practiced with the team yesterday after hearing that his contract received NFL approval, could play this Sunday against the St. Louis Cardinals at RFK Stadium, Gibbs said. Ed Rubbert is likely to start, as things stand now.

Robinson said he "learned a big lesson" when he was arrested. "You've got to be picky with your friends, you can't be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and you have to stay away from bad influences."

As for the criticism from the striking Redskins, Robinson said, "That doesn't knock me down. I'm a fighter. I've been that way since the day I was born."

He said if he made the team after a strike, he would be accepted if he simply "did my job."

"I'm a very confident person," he said. "I have to prove I can play after being out of football one or two years, and I have to prove I can stay out of trouble and stay away from the wrong people.

"It all boils down to the fact they haven't been through what I've been through. I'm a real tough person. I can take it, and I can dish it out, too."

The Redskins realized they could be criticized for signing Robinson, but wanted to give him a "second chance," Gibbs said.

Redskins Notes:

The team will announce its policy for ticket refunds today, Cooke said. The organization has had 159 consecutive sellouts, dating back to 1966 . . . The NFL has no plans to place asterisks next to records set in the nonunion games, said league spokesperson Dick Maxwell. "These are full-fledged games and there has been no talk of asterisks," Maxwell said. Rubbert said he believes there should be asterisks in the record books if and when records are broken. "This isn't the type of football people are used to," he said. "It's not going to be the competition of the NFL."

It appears teams will be allowed to keep a reserve of players from week to week, but can activate only 45 for games. This means new players could be added from a pool of practicing players . . .

Offensive tackle Mark Carlson, who left last week, returned yesterday. Wide receiver Mike Miller and cornerback Eric Jeffries signed and joined the team yesterday, also.