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CBA actually permits teams to drug-test players

tyrann-mathieu-p1 Getty Images

At first blush, news of the Cardinals’ plans to impose drug testing upon safety Tryann Mathieu raised a red flag as big as any from Mathieu’s troubled time at LSU.

The league, not the teams, impose drug testing.  The teams therefore can’t do it themselves, right?

Not so, according to the CBA.  As pointed out to PFT by the NFLPA, the league’s substance-abuse policy allows teams to test players.

Here’s the relevant language:  “An NFL club and a player may agree that such player will submit to unannounced Testing during the term of said player’s NFL Player Contract provided that the club has a reasonable basis for requesting such agreement. A Positive Test (as hereinafter defined) as a result of such Testing shall be reported to the Medical Director and shall result in the player’s entering Stage One of the Intervention Program. Once a player enters an Intervention Stage the number of Tests that a player will be required to take will be determined by the Medical Director or the Medical Advisor, as set forth herein – not by the terms of the player’s NFL Player Contract. Upon being dismissed from the Intervention Stages, a player’s NFL Player Contract will govern the number of Tests that he is subjected to. All such individually negotiated Testing shall be conducted under the direction of the Medical Advisor and not the club. In cases of individually negotiated Testing, the Medical Advisor and other Interested Parties will continue to be bound by the confidentiality provisions established by this Policy.”

In English, this means that a team can test a player, if the team has a “reasonable basis” to ask the player to submit to testing.  The testing continues unless and until he lands in the substance-abuse program.  At that point, the league takes over.

As to Mathieu, it’s entirely possible that he’ll enter the NFL as a member of the substance-abuse program, given his history at LSU.  If he is, the Cardinals won’t be able to test him until he’s out of the program.

Ultimately, Mathieu has to agree to be tested as one of the terms of this player contract.  As he tries to demonstrate that he is willing to choose football over marijuana, chances are that he’ll agree to be tested by the team.

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11 Responses to “CBA actually permits teams to drug-test players”
  1. logicalvoicesays says: Apr 29, 2013 12:49 PM

    That whimper you heard was from Adrian Cheaterson. The HGH king is going to get exposed sooner or later. #TheNFLMVPisRGIII

  2. dhalb34 says: Apr 29, 2013 1:01 PM

    If you think that for one, AP is the only person taking or not taking HGH you’re a naive individual. Two, if you think that RG3 should have been the MVP, someone needs to test you for drugs.

  3. sweded775 says: Apr 29, 2013 1:04 PM

    This isn’t Instagram….. hashtags don’t do a thing…. Cool Guy.

  4. melkipershero says: Apr 29, 2013 1:10 PM

    Do I think A.D. used HGH? Hell yah. Do I think RG3 will do the same? Probably. Do I think the vast majority of NFL players are using HGH? Yep.

    Keep HGH in the game. If these players want to wreck their bodies (even more than football itself) it’s cool with me. Look at baseball now, it’s hard to watch a full game.

  5. melkipershero says: Apr 29, 2013 1:11 PM

    Completely forgot the topic at hand (thanks Logicalvoice).

    Not sure how this guy will work out as a FS. As nickel corner I think he could be one of the best at the spot. FS.. not so sure.

  6. illiniftw says: Apr 29, 2013 1:13 PM

    He’ll be able to get any legal prescription drug he wants now. Some teams like the Saints don’t even keep them locked up!

    Hopefully he’ll keep his head on straight, be the best player he can be, then save enough money to retire so he can spend the rest of his life like a Cheech & Chong movie

  7. rtrmusic says: Apr 29, 2013 1:20 PM

    Hash tag idiot folks. See’s his friends doing it so he wants to do it as well. No clue what it means or why it’s done. It just looks cool. Probably says “Epic” and “Fail” on a regular basis as well.

  8. FinFan68 says: Apr 29, 2013 2:13 PM

    If it was up to me, I’d test him daily and make the “random” part pertain to what time of the day he gets tested. Hopefully the kid grasps the importance of the chance he has been given. For the “it’s just weed” crowd: for this guy it wasn’t “just weed”

  9. mazblast says: Apr 29, 2013 3:25 PM

    I can’t wait until his agent or one of his entourage yaps about “no probable cause” for the team performing random drug tests on Mathieu. I think HE is (just barely) smart enough to know it’s better to go along, as opposed to not having an NFL career, but the people around him may not be that sentient.

  10. rcali says: Apr 29, 2013 3:58 PM

    Peterson must be so happy about his new role as babysitter. I’m sure he’ll say all the right things though.

  11. jziii says: Apr 29, 2013 5:07 PM

    I hope they test him for ADD and allow him to take Adderall if it can help him. A lot of people with ADD self-medicate with dope; it’s a way to help calm their frenetic brains. Maybe a legal med could help him, because he must have some issues if he was choosing the hooch over a potentially very bright future. Here’s hoping Mathieu gives himself a chance to realize his potential.

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