Union: Miller’s suspension doesn’t flow from steroids policy

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The mystery is being solved, piece by piece.  Sort of.

We know that Broncos linebacker Von Miller faces a four-game suspension.  We know that the internal appeal process has not yet been completed.  We know that someone breached the confidentiality requirement of the league’s policies, since we shouldn’t know any of this until the appeal fails.  We know that Miller says he did nothing wrong.

Now, we know by process of elimination that Miller’s potential suspension comes from the substance-abuse policy.  We know this because NFLPA spokesman George Atallah has said via Twitter that Miller’s potential suspension does not arise under the steroids policy.

Mike Klis of the Denver Post reported earlier today that Miller tested positive in 2011 for amphetamines (prohibited under the steroids policy) and for marijuana (prohibited under the substance-abuse policy).  Miller apparently avoided a suspension for the positive amphetamine test, which actually represents a second breach of a confidentiality provision that supposedly carries a fine of up to $500,000.

If Miller is indeed facing a suspension under the substance-abuse policy, it means that he violated the policy multiple times.  So when he says he did nothing wrong, in a roundabout way he’s accurate.  The suspension means he did something he shouldn’t have done at least three times.

And here’s where the case could get even more interesting.  Now that recreational marijuana use is legal in Colorado, Miller could try to challenge any violations occurring since the law was passed, if his potential suspension arises from marijuana use.

46 responses to “Union: Miller’s suspension doesn’t flow from steroids policy

  1. He could challenge it on the grounds that pot is legal in CO, but he’d lose. The NFL is in no way bound by decisions made by CO’s state legislature. After all, pot is still illegal according to the federal government and the overwhelming majority of states.

  2. It doesn’t matter if weed is legal in Colorado. Diuretics, Adderal and many other banned substances are perfectly legal in the US that aren’t allowed in football.

  3. ——————-
    Now that recreational marijuana use is legal in Colorado, Miller could try to challenge any violations occurring since the law was passed, if his potential suspension arises from marijuana use.
    ——————-

    Something can be legal and still violate the rules of your employer, work place, or contract. If the NFL Substance Abuse Policy that he agreed to when he signed his contract says “No marijuanna” then it doesn’t matter how legal it is to use.

  4. Why are the Donkeys allowed all this secrecy? Any other team, the story would be out by now…it’s time for the truth!

  5. there are many substances that the league bans that are legal in states. so the laws in Colorado don’t affect this as all. Violation of the ban substance list and the Substance Abuse Policy of the NFL, that every player agrees to abide by as part of the NFLPA, is what matters, not the legality of the substance within the state.

  6. Dear George,

    Why are you tweeting about a player’s supposedly confidential appeal?

  7. I look forward to all of you idiot trolls eating your words. “Von Merriman?” Hardly. Try harder next time.

  8. Can you imagine the competitive advantage Denver would have if Miller wins an appeal based on the fact that pot is legal in Colorado?!

    If they could sell free agents on the fact that they could get high and not be suspended, they would get all sorts of talented veterans to mysteriously sign at the league minimum.

  9. Look to the Kyle/Pat Williams case people. They were suspended for something that wasnt banned in Minnesota. They eventually lost their appeal but that took two years. Von Miller could make history.

  10. Can you imagine the competitive advantage Denver would have if Miller wins an appeal based on the fact that pot is legal in Colorado?!

    No competitive advantage. Not everyone is a freaking weed head.

  11. somethingsmellsrotten says: Jul 22, 2013 4:35 PM

    Why are the Donkeys allowed all this secrecy? Any other team, the story would be out by now…it’s time for the truth!

    Yep – it’s alllll one big ‘spiracy. 9/11 was carried out by the US government as well..

  12. Come on Mike, you are a lawyer. You know that pot being “legal” in Colorado means nothing if your employer bans the use on it. I work for the Colorado Department of Corrections and they made it very clear that we will be fired if we test positive for marijuana.

  13. I’d find it a rather fascinating experiment to see what would happen if the league allowed players in Denver and Seattle to test postitive for Mary Jane, since it’s now legal in those states.

    I think, though, that the rest of the league would not like this, as it may provide a very unfair advantage when it comes to recruiting free agents.

  14. shogunassasin30 says: Jul 22, 2013 4:44 PM

    Can you imagine the competitive advantage Denver would have if Miller wins an appeal based on the fact that pot is legal in Colorado?!
    ———

    No competitive advantage. Not everyone is a freaking weed head.

    ———-

    Ugh. It was a joke… Do you ever smile?

  15. I was disappointed in Miller when I thought it was PED, now that it is almost certainly weed related I’m disappointed in the NFL. In 15 years when it is legal in several states, there will be no pot suspensions.

  16. So the idiots complaining about it being legal in Colorado don’t think that everytime a team goes to Denver to play and its players smoke up and come back positive, all they have to say is, its legal while I did it in Colorado? Idiots, stupidest argument there is. So employer mandated regulations, which you, oh by the way, agreed to via the CBA, don’t apply now? Sorry, it was collectively bargained dummies, can’t skirt the issue and amend the CBA on the fly to suit your needs.

  17. Exactly where Does it say He was on the Molly… Or is it one of those things that, “a I heard this” and so everybody just runs with it? Provide facts, not guess work and opinion.

  18. the bigger question here is why marijuana is banned by the nfl in the first place. if it was legal tomorrow, the nfl would probably still ban it, all the while handing out every pain killer for humans and horses to all the players.

  19. If Mary Jane is involved, I doubt that the league will grant an exclusion for Colorado law. Federal law will apply here, otherwise 30% of all NFL players will want to play for the Broncos, or in states with pro marijuanna laws. The league will get sued for a double standard.

  20. it shouldn’t matter in Colorado. If the league says smoking pot is not ok with “company policy” that should stand above federal law.

    in fact the fed law should only constitute where law enforcement is involved, meaning if pot is found on somebody, they cant be arrested for it..

  21. There is a lot of really bad lawyers commenting here. The NFL has been clear that they consider marijuana against the rules. Florio’s point is simply that based on the fact that it is legal in Colorado he could challenge that in court. He may or may not get some sort of relief that way. It’s a legitimate case though. Federal law may have some effect, but remember that the NFL has spent a lot of time and money arguing that they are not a single entity but 32 separate entities engaged in one type of activity. each entity is subject to the laws of the state they operate in.

  22. I’m sorry, but how can the NFL fine and suspend a player in one state that bans a substance, and let one go from another state that says it is legal. State law then dictates how the NFL operates.

    This is legal quicksand, and it will not happen, and the NFL has this covered for sure. No way miller gets off on this, the NFL can not and won’t let it happen.

  23. This just in from the news wire. Jerry Jones has just petitioned the Texas Senate to make HGH legal in the state of Texas. Jerry is hoping that the Von Miller law will allow the Cowboys to operate under state law, and bypass the NFL conduct laws, and grow bigger and better players than the rest of the league with an unfair advantage. Jerry is so happy that other teams players will get suspended, but because of Texas state law, the Cowboys will grow the best team in the NFL, with no worries at all.

    I wonder how the competition committee will handle this one?

  24. He’s not getting suspended for weed. 90% of league smokes. I think it’s cocaine or something similar.

  25. What if he used marijuana to alleviate his anxiety of Sharknados in Denver? Then what people, league should understand. Fear of Sharknados is a serious issue!

  26. If they’re not drinking and driving in Denver, they snorting and playing football.

    It’s getting fugly there fast.

  27. Mike,

    I understand what you are saying, but wouldn’t the NFL still be able to say that marijuana is not legal under federal law? And regardless of the law, it is still against the substance abuse policy in the CBA.

    In order to dispute the suspension because of state laws, wouldn’t that have needed to be addressed in the previous CBA, or this this a questionable offense where Goodell will just go with whatever his gut feeling is?

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