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

Buffalo Bills v Denver Broncos Getty Images

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.

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46 Responses to “Union: Miller’s suspension doesn’t flow from steroids policy”
  1. ColtsWinColtsWin!! says: Jul 22, 2013 4:27 PM

    Weed like to believe he wasn’t smoking!

  2. donnymacjack says: Jul 22, 2013 4:28 PM

    Isn’t weed legal in Colorado? :)

  3. bucrightoff says: Jul 22, 2013 4:29 PM

    Cause MDMA is so much better than PEDs…

  4. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Jul 22, 2013 4:30 PM

    You said yourself that marijuana was prohibited under the substance-abuse policy. It doesn’t matter if it’s legal or not.

  5. micknangold says: Jul 22, 2013 4:31 PM

    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.

  6. kirksav says: Jul 22, 2013 4:33 PM

    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.

  7. ilovefoolsball says: Jul 22, 2013 4:33 PM

    MOLLY MILE HIGH

  8. slugdc says: Jul 22, 2013 4:33 PM

    ——————-
    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.

  9. 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!

  10. jedicurt says: Jul 22, 2013 4:35 PM

    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.

  11. qweststrike2008 says: Jul 22, 2013 4:36 PM

    Dear George,

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

  12. shogunassasin30 says: Jul 22, 2013 4:36 PM

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

  13. dryzzt23 says: Jul 22, 2013 4:38 PM

    Yeah like I’m going to believe ANYTHING that a union head has to say….

  14. 4thquartermagic says: Jul 22, 2013 4:39 PM

    4:20 will now be known as “Miller Time.”

    Keep your head up Von. Everything will work out.

  15. justsomerandomguy24 says: Jul 22, 2013 4:39 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?!

    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.

  16. jrebar88 says: Jul 22, 2013 4:41 PM

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. pflynn20 says: Jul 22, 2013 4:45 PM

    Poppin Molly’s now I’m suspended

  19. shogunassasin30 says: Jul 22, 2013 4:48 PM

    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..

  20. lanjoith says: Jul 22, 2013 4:50 PM

    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.

  21. Steeley McBeam says: Jul 22, 2013 4:50 PM

    That mollywater is great just as Cheif Keef.

  22. bigbaldpapahawk says: Jul 22, 2013 4:51 PM

    Since when does pot being legal mean that your employer cannot demand that you not engage in using it if you care to remain employed?

  23. trollhammer20 says: Jul 22, 2013 4:52 PM

    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.

  24. justsomerandomguy24 says: Jul 22, 2013 4:55 PM

    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?

  25. puhleezho says: Jul 22, 2013 4:59 PM

    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.

  26. vanmorrissey says: Jul 22, 2013 5:05 PM

    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.

  27. ebrownwareagle says: Jul 22, 2013 5:14 PM

    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.

  28. johninthewest says: Jul 22, 2013 5:40 PM

    He will be let off also knowing the info leaked out as well. This is getting extremely over hyped…

  29. patriots123456 says: Jul 22, 2013 5:43 PM

    Did Ricky Williams just buy a bus ticket to Colorado?

  30. vibesid says: Jul 22, 2013 5:46 PM

    I don’t know what’s true anymore, or who to believe.

  31. lowlifenebula says: Jul 22, 2013 5:59 PM

    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.

  32. kenstabler says: Jul 22, 2013 6:32 PM

    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.

  33. billsfan1 says: Jul 22, 2013 7:03 PM

    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..

  34. folkcrusader says: Jul 22, 2013 7:10 PM

    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.

  35. kenstabler says: Jul 22, 2013 8:14 PM

    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.

  36. kenstabler says: Jul 22, 2013 8:39 PM

    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?

  37. sc711 says: Jul 22, 2013 9:06 PM

    It’s always somethin in Broncoland.

  38. kev86 says: Jul 22, 2013 10:29 PM

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

  39. cfh666 says: Jul 22, 2013 10:34 PM

    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!

  40. kev86 says: Jul 22, 2013 10:34 PM

    Amsterdam should get a team over London.

  41. 13arod says: Jul 22, 2013 10:47 PM

    Ryan bruan all over again

  42. joetoronto says: Jul 23, 2013 6:03 AM

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

    It’s getting fugly there fast.

  43. listenup823 says: Jul 23, 2013 10:28 AM

    Hey Joetoronto.. It doesn’t get any uglier than that cesspool they call Oakland…

  44. bigbenh8tr says: Jul 23, 2013 11:06 AM

    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?

  45. denverdude7 says: Jul 23, 2013 12:51 PM

    Ooohoo that smell,
    Can’t ya smell that smell?
    Ooohoo that smell,
    That smell gets around you…

  46. proceednet says: Jul 23, 2013 3:39 PM

    Von, we burn a blunt for every sack you make! – Denver Northeast)

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