Plenty of changes to the NFL’s substance-abuse policy and PED policy hinge on the league and the NFLPA finalizing an agreement to conduct HGH testing. Some changes would help the players, incorporating third-party arbitration for most appeals and tweaking the rules to reduce suspensions.
One change would hurt the players, but the players generally are in favor of it.
Per a league source, the new substance-abuse policy (which will be implemented once an HGH testing agreement is reached) would impose a one-game suspension for a first-offense DUI. The penalty also would include a fine in the amount of one game check.
Currently, the rules require two-game fine for players who ultimately are deemed to be legally responsible for first-offense DUI. Barring unusual circumstances, a suspension arises only for a second offense.
The league has wanted tougher penalties for several years. The NFLPA, possibly influenced by the reality that a member of the union died in December 2012 while riding with a drunk teammate, wants the enhanced penalty as well.
The penalty will be put in place as soon as the league and the union iron out the last remaining details of HGH testing. Which, if you’re just joining us, has nothing to do with HGH testing. The policy hinges on whether Commissioner Roger Goodell will retain the ability to resolve appeals of HGH and other PED violations arising not from a positive test but from other evidence of drug use. All appeals based on positive tests will go to third-party arbitration.
And the impasse will continue until the two sides can find a middle ground — or until Moe comes along and clunks Larry’s and Curly’s heads together.