NFL, NFLPA Approve New Drug Policy
The NFL and NFLPA have finally come to an agreement on a new drug policy. Due to constant issues with the lack of proper HGH (Human Growth Hormone) testing, as well as a low threshold for marijuana tests, the two sides reached an agreement that would benefit both sides.
With the agreement now in place, NFL players will now be subject to HGH testing, while marijuana tests will allow for a higher threshold. The marijuana threshold has been lifted due to other professional leagues having a high threshold on their tests, while Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon was negatively impacted by the testing. Gordon claimed he had narrowly failed a test during the summer due to second hand marijuana smoke.
The NFL’s changes to marijuana testing are to avoid future discrepancies, while the league also plans to add extra stages to the drug program to help players dealing with addiction, rather than simply punish them.
Thanks to the new agreement, Gordon’s former one-year ban has been reduced to just 10 games. Gordon will be available to the Browns starting in week 12 if he can continue to remain out of trouble.
Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker benefits from the new drug policy even more, as his previous four-game ban has been completely lifted. Welker’s situation was much different, as his violation had to do with the use of amphetamines. Per the league’s new drug policy, use of amphetamines and certain other drugs will fall in line under the “substance abuse policy” and would not automatically include a four-game suspension for a first offense.
Welker and other players such as Miami Dolphins defensive end Dion Jordan and Dallas Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick will have their suspensions wiped clean and could potential be available to play right away in week two. Their immediate availability hasn’t yet been made know, but all three would be able to return for week three at the absolute latest.
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