Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon was suspended two games and fined two additional game checks by the NFL on Friday for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Gordon has released a statement about the suspension with an explanation for why he was suspended for the league. According to Gordon, the culprit was medication prescribed by a doctor that included codeine.
“In February, I was diagnosed with strep throat for which a doctor prescribed antibiotics and cough medicine. Apparently, the medicine I took contained codeine, which is prohibited by the NFL policy,” Gordon said in the statement. “The policy terms are strict about unintentional ingestion, but the NFL has not imposed the maximum punishment in light of the facts of my case. Therefore, I have chosen to be immediately accountable for the situation. I sincerely apologize for the impact on my team, coaches, and Browns fans. I look forward to working hard in training camp and pre-season, and contributing immediately when I return in week three.”
First-time violations of the substance abuse policy, be they for intentional or unintentional ingestion and unlike violations of the performance-enhancing drug policy, don’t generally result in suspensions. Gordon, who admitted failing a drug test in college and reportedly failed others, was likely already in the program before taking the codeine.