Sunday’s news that Broncos linebacker Von Miller conspired with a sample collector to cheat drug tests broke ground only as it related to the involvement of the collector. It already was known generally that Miller had done something to try to beat the test.
For Miller, it ultimately was a good thing that a collector was implicated. By all appearances and based on everything we’ve been told, the NFLPA seized on the involvement of the league’s representative to reduce Miller’s ultimate punishment, dramatically.
We’ve heard that the league wanted to suspend Miller for as much as a year. Without the collector’s involvement, it could have happened — especially since the NFL still has the ability to issue the discipline and to resolve the appeal in cases involving violations of the substance-abuse policy.
In any other workplace, Miller could have been at risk of something much worse than a one-year suspension. Employees who affirmatively disrupt an employer’s internal investigation processes routinely are deemed to be unfit to remain.
“He didn’t test positive for anything,” an unnamed source told USA Today in late July. In hindsight, the comment is laughable.
Of course Miller didn’t test positive. He didn’t test positive because he cheated the test.
If the collector hadn’t been involved, and if the NFLPA hadn’t pushed it so aggressively, Miller would have had a lot longer than six weeks to ponder the consequences of his conduct.