Skip to content

NFL, union closing in on a deal for revised substance-abuse policy

Executive director of the NFL Players Association Smith and NFL Commissioner Goodell speak outside the NFL Players Association Headquarters in Washington Reuters

While the NFL and the NFLPA remain at impasse on one lingering issue regarding the policy regarding performance-enhancing drugs, the league and the union are moving toward a deal to revise the substance-abuse policy, which covers street drugs like marijuana.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the two sides met this week to discuss both policies.  As to the substance-abuse policy, a deal is almost done.

For the PED policy, every part of the policy related to hGH is agreed to and done in principle.  The NFL and NFLPA have agreed to conduct a population study, agreed on the procedure for drawing blood, negotiated discipline for positive tests, and agreed that positive tests for all PED violations will be subject to third-party arbitration.

The one point preventing a PED deal arises from penalties due to a violation of the law or other conduct unrelated to a positive test.  The league wants Commissioner Roger Goodell to handle the appeals; the NFLPA wants those appeals to be exported to arbitration.

The NFL refuses to relinquish authority that the Commissioner has had for decades.  It’s a concept that the league regards as settled and off-limits.

“[Pete] Rozelle has control over the integrity of the game, and it’s within his right to do it,” former NFLPA executive director Gene Upshaw said in 1983, after Rozelle suspended a quartet of players for off-field drug violations.  “He talked to me a week before he came down with his ruling. I talked to my player reps. We decided on a hands-off policy.”

The NFLPA currently wants the Commissioner to take his hands off all PED discipline arising from violations of the law.  For now, the two sides are doing the middle-school dance standoff.  Short of giving the Commissioner the ability to make the initial decision with a third-party having the ability to review it based on a standard that gives the Commissioner’s ruling some deference, it’s hard to find a middle ground on this one.

Permalink 5 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Home, Rumor Mill
5 Responses to “NFL, union closing in on a deal for revised substance-abuse policy”
  1. officialgame says: Sep 8, 2013 3:05 PM

    Haven’t they been closing in for 3 years. Wake me up when its closed.

  2. elwaysagenius says: Sep 8, 2013 3:14 PM

    Instead of writing this, you should be watching football

  3. nananatman says: Sep 8, 2013 3:29 PM

    If weed sends ppl to federal pens than these chemical drugs absolutely should. Take the disciplinary duties away from the commish and the players and put it where it belongs in the jails and the courts.

  4. ivanpavlov0000 says: Sep 8, 2013 5:09 PM

    What’s the rule if a player in Washington or Colorado tests positive for legal pot?

  5. nananatman says: Sep 8, 2013 5:45 PM

    Don’t think the NFL cares, still illegal to them. That doesn’t justify being a glorified chemtard though.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!