Sherman would pursue his appeal in court, if he could

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As Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman waits for a ruling on the appeal of his suspension, he’s inclined to push the issue to court — if he can.

“I wish I could,” Sherman said regarding the possibility of the Wapner-Llewelyn option after Sunday night’s thumping of the 49ers.  “I don’t know if it’s possible.  If I could pursue it further, because I’d win in a neutral court, but I don’t know if I can pursue it further.”

Technically, he can pursue the matter in court.  But he’d have to prove that the outcome of the arbitration procedure that arises from the collective bargaining process should be disregarded, and that’s a high standard.

Others have tried, and few (if any) have prevailed.  The problem is that the players don’t have the tools at their disposal to challenge irregularities in the collection and testing of their urine samples.

As we’ve previously reported, Sherman planned to raise during the appeal alleged defects in the collection process.  Adam Schefter of ESPN reported on Sunday that the cup containing Sherman’s sample was broken, that a second cup was placed under the leaking cup, that the seal on the second cup was broken, and that the chain of custody also was broken.

Under baseball’s testing procedures, that would be enough to overturn the outcome.  Since a strict-liability standard is applied to the presence of banned substances in the player’s urine, a strict-liability standard is applied to the testing process.  If there’s any flaw, the entire test is rejected.

But NFL and the NFLPA didn’t agree to procedures that impose such stringent obligations on the test collector.  Which underscores the notion that the appeals aren’t lost in the hearing room, but that they were forfeited at the bargaining table.

15 responses to “Sherman would pursue his appeal in court, if he could

  1. Way to go DeSmith…you sure had the players best interests in mind when you negotiated that pile of garbage. Players have no one to blame but DeSmith and themselves.

  2. This type of thing just frustrates me as a fan. Some Joe Schmoe’s carelessness can be the difference in a player that is using a ban substance being suspended and held accountable for their actions, or getting off on the Braun-technicality.

  3. I’m all for strictly regulated testing procedures, but it seems kind of telling that there is not even an attempt to deny the offense. When his suspension is ultimately upheld, I’m not going to feel like an innocent man was somehow screwed over.

  4. “I’d win in a neutral court” This is kind of irrelevant any only acknowledges that the he’d exploit a legal loophole available there.

  5. I’ll echo what a couple have already said. It sounds like he’s pressing to get off on a technicality. How can a broken seal on the second cup lead to a positive result? If they used a cup that had been used by someone else, then of course. But I haven’t heard that to be the case.

  6. I’ve taken monthly UA’s in order to participate in a program that I’ve been attending for the past 13 years and believe me, this one is ‘monitored’, ie, a UA tech is in there with me every step of the way, just like in this case. When a cup has a leak or ANY seal is broken, the test is invalid – no questions asked by anyone! Why should it be different for Richard Sherman? I firmly believe that since our Hawks creamed the 49ers last Sunday, some folks are jealous of Richard Sherman’s & the entire team’s great performances in our games! The West Coast does not get enough credit where credit is due, normally … so suck it up, whiners & know-it-alls!! Hopefully persistence will pay off in this case! Good Luck to Richard Sherman! GO HAWKS!

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