League, NFLPA Agree To Terms On New NFL Drug Policy

by Michael Drahota | Posted on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 | 0


Nearly a week after NFL players voted to approve it, the NFL and NFLPA have finally agreed to an all-new drug policy that will immediately put into place several discussed topics that will affect drug-related suspensions.

Here is the NFL’s official announcement on the new policy:

“The NFL and NFL Players Association have reached agreement on wide-ranging improvements to their policy on performance enhancing substances that include the use of third-party arbitration appeals of positive tests and implementation of testing for human growth hormone within the next few weeks.”

One of the main tenets of the deal is the first-ever instance of testing for human growth hormone (HGH), which will reportedly go into effect within around two weeks.

The first failure for HGH will see a player suspended for 2-6 games, a second offense will result in a ban of at least 10 games, and a third offense would result in a minimum suspension of two years.

The hotly debated topic of Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker’s suspension was also addressed. Under the new policy, Welker’s (and others’) four game suspension for testing positive for amphetamine use in the offseason will be moved from the performance-enhancing drug policy to the substance abuse policy, making the suspensions of Welker, Dallas Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick, and St. Louis Rams wide receiver Stedman Bailey retroactively disappear.

The players will be eligible for Week 3. Their situation marks the beginning of a new distinction where players found to have used amphetamines in the offseason will not be suspended under the substance abuse policy. Players who are caught using them in the season will continue to be suspended for four games.

Marijuana testing was also addressed, with the threshold being increased. Because of this, Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon, who was previously suspended for all 16 games in 2014, will now be eligible to return in Week 11.

He can also return to the team facilities after the Browns asked for the provision.

Another aspect added to the new drug testing policy was a mandatory two game suspension for players found guilty of driving under the influence (DUI).

All players retroactively affected by the new policy will not be made public, but they are rumored to number around 20.

About the Author

Both an avid NFL fan and analyst, I’ve been following professional football since the late 1980s. I’m also an avid fantasy football player with several league victories under my belt. Check out my NFL articles on TSM for the latest NFL news, highlights, predictions, and more.

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