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Lack of HGH testing could contribute to Gordon suspension

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A difference of reporting exists as to whether an agreement on HGH testing would or wouldn’t result in a relaxed marijuana testing threshold for NFL players.  While no tentative agreement to use a higher limit for marijuana metabolites has been reached, it’s clear that the NFL would listen, if the NFLPA makes a request along those lines in an effort to break the lingering logjam arising from the authority of the Commissioner in PED/HGH appeals.

Regardless, the NFL’s current limit of 15 ng/ml needs to change, especially since (as pointed out by ESPN’s Bomani Jones) the World Anti-Doping Agency raised its limit by an order or magnitude in 2013, from 15 to 150 ng/ml.

A low limit of 15 ng/ml can be reached via second-hand smoke.  As pointed out by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Gordon’s appeal also will advance that argument.

No matter how or why or when the NFL adopts a higher limit, it will be grossly overdue and any positive tests or suspensions based on anything lower than the WADA limits will be grossly unfair — especially since the NFL has been consistently pointing to WADA to support its proposed HGH testing protocol.

Under the current policy as previously negotiated by the NFL and the NFLPA, arguments based on the disparity between Gordon’s “A” bottle and “B” bottle and whether the average concentration (based on the split sample) of 14.8 ng/ml in the two bottles came from second-hand smoke won’t matter.  A strict, literal application of the policy will result in Gordon being suspended for a full year, during which time he’ll be completely banished from his team and required to continue to pass up to 10 tests per months, or he won’t be reinstated.

If any notion of fairness and common sense is applied to the appeal process, Gordon won’t be suspended at all.  Especially since the NFL apparently hasn’t and won’t subject Colts owner Jim Irsay to the same kind of rigorous testing for an admitted addiction that, if it’s not cured, eventually would result in Irsay being kicked out of the league for at least a year, too.

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57 Responses to “Lack of HGH testing could contribute to Gordon suspension”
  1. denko310 says: Jul 29, 2014 5:21 PM

    I don’t really know the rules behind testing players but they should test everyone randomly 2 times a year..also don’t suspend players for weed. #cmonman

  2. thirtyrackdash says: Jul 29, 2014 5:21 PM

    The NFL will also be providing a list of approved “friends” that players can have based on whether or not they pass up to 10 drug tests a month to avoid the life-altering dangers of second hand marijuana smoke.

  3. 4thquartermagic says: Jul 29, 2014 5:22 PM

    Get pulled over while high on prescription drugs with a briefcase full of money while on they way to go beat a woman:

    Minimum penalty: Nothing
    Max penalty: 2 games

    Smoke a plant that offers no performance enhancing capabilities.

    Minimum penalty: 4 games
    Max penalty: Career threatening.

  4. datageek94 says: Jul 29, 2014 5:22 PM

    Owner ≠ Player

  5. macdaddyspeed says: Jul 29, 2014 5:25 PM

    Right or wrong, once the games begin, us fans will not care about this type of stuff. It’s the nature of our own NFL addiction.

  6. bunjy96 says: Jul 29, 2014 5:31 PM

    Don’t at all understand all this whining by some.

    Only important question is, what does the CBA say?
    That’s what the players signed and agreed to. Now, they want to whine their way out of it.

    Doesn’t work that way in real life, no matter how much the whiners want to change thing.

    Using weed is going to get you suspended. How much clearer can it be? Don’t like it, change the CBA or shut up!

  7. ducksk says: Jul 29, 2014 5:32 PM

    Owner argument is stupid. They are not employed with a contract they signed and in accordance with nhlpa. Don’t be stupid.
    And Gordo didn’t inhale. What a joke. He risked it all, his bad. For now weed is still illegal in all but 2 states and IS part of nflpa agreement. Get facts! ILLEGAL SUBSTANCE IM NFL RULES. What part of that is hard to understand. Are you stupid are just stoned?

  8. seatownballers says: Jul 29, 2014 5:35 PM

    Change the league punishments

  9. ravenswhat says: Jul 29, 2014 5:35 PM

    Why do people always say things like “pftt he smoked a plant and now his career is over”. These players KNOW the rules. Whether or not the rule is fair or not, that’s on the player if they choose to knowingly disregard it. So stop defending the players here.

  10. The Pittsburgh Steelers are the reason you can enjoy football today. This is what we built. We are the NFL. We are football. We are God's team. says: Jul 29, 2014 5:36 PM

    It’s not that hard when you have high character guys. Notice how this doesn’t happen to the Steelers?

  11. sumkat says: Jul 29, 2014 5:37 PM

    Is the weed rule ridiculous? Yes. Does it matter? No.

    If it was that big a deal, bring it up at the CBA. See if the NFL can get away with agreeing to change the limit, then stonewalling on it for 2 years like the NFLPA has done with HGH

  12. seatownballers says: Jul 29, 2014 5:39 PM

    Dealing with pain, id rather smoke pot and see chiropractic help.because Pills and booze suck.
    These athletes feel the same. The union won’t back then because it’s illegal still. Wake up

  13. bobnelsonjr says: Jul 29, 2014 5:40 PM

    1) players are not supposed to smoke anything as the tar from smoke damages the vital lung organs.

    2) There is no reason to be around any criminal doper at any time. By definition they have ties to organized crime and narco-terrorists.

    3) Second hand smoke is voluntarily ingested by adults. They have the power to avoid it completely.
    There is no excuse.

    4) One of these days we will win this War on Drugs, don’t be a traitor to the loser side.

    5) Just say “NO!!” There is absolutely nothing beneficial yourself or your community with street drugs.

  14. bighat8 says: Jul 29, 2014 5:41 PM

    Macdaddyspeed..You nailed it. I would say most here couldn’t give a crap whether or not Rice ko’d her. If they’re this passionate about many are volunteering at a battered womans shelter? This too will pass with kickoff.

  15. redislander10 says: Jul 29, 2014 5:41 PM

    Probably the most informative article I’ve read on this site.

  16. pppath says: Jul 29, 2014 5:43 PM

    Free Josh Gordon!

  17. sumkat says: Jul 29, 2014 5:44 PM

    As far as Irsay vs Gordon….In what world is the person who signs the checks subject to the same rules as the guy who cashes them?

    Certainly not at my job.

  18. cguy7 says: Jul 29, 2014 5:46 PM

    The Steelers just had a bunch of providers like Courson, Webster, and a team doctor who was indicted for illegal distribution of performance enhancing drugs. That’s all… #dontthrowstones

  19. jmblosser82 says: Jul 29, 2014 5:48 PM

    If second hand smoke can bump it up then don’t put yourself in that situation. I’m sure the person smoking has a lot less to lose then Gordon, it’s guilt by association.

  20. johnnyjagfan says: Jul 29, 2014 5:49 PM

    Gordon has that DUI too…

  21. whenwilliteverend says: Jul 29, 2014 5:51 PM

    After reading this story, I have some empathy for Josh Gordon, if nothing more than because the threshold for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is ten times what the NFL considers a failed test. If it’s true that you could fail the test from second-hand smoke I think that’s ridiculous. I’m not a supporter of legalizing pot but it is in the CBA so whether or not it is legal is a moot point. However, when WADA, the pre-eminent sports doping authority in the world has a threshold that’s ten times higher than what the NFL checks then I think that’s inequitable. It’s quite possible he didn’t even smoke any after seeing how low those tests were. I was probably as hard on this guy as anyone but it seems like he has a real shot at winning an appeal. I’d also like to see the NFL set their standards based on WADA instead of their own arbitrary limits.

  22. aldavis4president says: Jul 29, 2014 5:53 PM

    I don’t understand random drug testing. It Dsnt make any sense . I understand random ped testing because of the unfair advantage it gives players playing whatever sport it may be. But RANDOM drug testing? Are these guys on parole or something?!. And a year suspension for some ganja?!?! Ridiculous.

  23. brynebrywilkerb0310 says: Jul 29, 2014 5:56 PM

    When some of you say the owner shouldn’t be held to the same standards as the players, you’re correct.


  24. hisandherpes says: Jul 29, 2014 5:57 PM

    If he passed 70 tests (not sure how necessary it is to test a NFL player 70 times in a career much less a year) and he never broke the 15.0 nl threshold in that span, the “second hand smoke” defense not only seems viable, it seems like the only conceivable explanation.

    15.0 nl for a regular user is nearly impossible to achieve any other way unless that level started much higher and tapered off over the course of 2-3 weeks. Obviously that’s not the case here or else he would have failed multiple tests. If not for Gordon’s driving incidents in recent months, I’d bet he’d get off Scott free. Now, probably a 4-8 game ban.

  25. sw19womble says: Jul 29, 2014 5:59 PM

    For those banging on about Irsay, Goodell brought the situation upon himself with all the “Protecting the Shield” proselytizing.

    What’s good for the goose is good for the owner.

    And for those yapping about the CBA – well, it’s precisely these sorts of problems that the NFLPA are trying to sort out. They learned from the last time, don’t leave anything on the table, or listen to any of Goodell’s bs about “we can sort that out later, let’s just get most of it passed now”

    Clean house. Clear the air.

  26. bighat8 says: Jul 29, 2014 6:07 PM

    I can’t condemn Gordon. I enjoy burning a fat one, eating wings and and watching football.

  27. jenga1115 says: Jul 29, 2014 6:12 PM

    “The Pittsburgh Steelers are the reason you can enjoy football today. This is what we built. We are the NFL. We are football. We are God’s team. says: Jul 29, 2014 5:36 PM

    It’s not that hard when you have high character guys. Notice how this doesn’t happen to the Steelers?”


    Ben Roethlisberger is the epitome of High Character right?

  28. brownsmakemecrazy says: Jul 29, 2014 6:27 PM

    The only morons that are siding with the NFL on these issues are either:

    1. Corporate lackey no common sense ninny managers themselves


    2. Jealous of the players because they make alot of money that they themselves never had the talent to play past Pop Warner football.

  29. cwwgk says: Jul 29, 2014 6:39 PM

    If you’re going to opine on addictions, you should at least understand that they are not curable. Treatable, but not curable. There is a world of difference.

  30. trollingforjustice says: Jul 29, 2014 6:44 PM

    only a moron wouldnt understand that its not really about the weed-but the unwillingness to follow the rules. and this is not the first time he has broken the rules, so the penalty gets stiffer.
    T he NFL is a corporate business that mandates certain guidelines for employees to follow.
    The reward is lots of money and fame. but some people think they are above all that and should get preferential treatment

  31. ducksk says: Jul 29, 2014 6:47 PM

    bighat8: enjoy. Only difference his he signed a multi year million dollar contract with his employer. He risked it. He is stupid. As for you, party on. But know the heavy price this country pays for just weed. People rob, steal and kill for it. Sure not you. Follow your $.

  32. campcouch says: Jul 29, 2014 6:48 PM

    It’s like the players don’t read the CBA before it’s ratified. They leave it up to their reps to handle it while they chill out elsewhere. So I’m going to assume that the majority of the team representatives don’t use marijuana either out of a lack of desire or that they take their position seriously. They agree to put that in there because it’s something they don’t do or find it objectionable. The rest of the players skip all of that and get to the money part and see “50%” of revenues and thumbs up all of it. The owners laugh because fewer of them have to split 50% and they don’t have to pay X amount of players for a year due to weed suspension, especially since they know there are quite a few potheads in the league. That’s good business for a franchisee.

  33. ducksk says: Jul 29, 2014 6:49 PM

    brownsmakemecrazy: excuse us, former nfl star and CEO of nothing. Kick this pothead out for awhile maybe his iq will rise enough to read some if his contract. Maybe not.

  34. brownsmakemecrazy says: Jul 29, 2014 6:51 PM

    And only a moron would realize there are tons of rules like this one that are idiotic and make no common sense at all

  35. brownsmakemecrazy says: Jul 29, 2014 6:53 PM

    And in the word of the clown you love so much Goodell said owners teams and employees should be held to a higher standard. What a crock. Where’s Irsay suspension?

  36. brownsmakemecrazy says: Jul 29, 2014 7:04 PM

    Next CBA if I’m the players, players reps, and NFL A leadership I’m lining up other billionaires and if the current NFL owners don’t cave on everything then I’m forming my own league. Bye bye investment. Only way to hit these scumbags where it hurts is in the wallet.

    Last time I checked people pay to watxh players not owners.

  37. themeccalambeaufield says: Jul 29, 2014 7:06 PM

    Typical lawyer trying to muddy the waters. Gordon is part of CBA not the owners. While I agree Irsay should be punished it has absolutely nothing to do with Gordons case and his idiocy of not following the rules or the law 4 times.

  38. rajbais says: Jul 29, 2014 7:13 PM

    Finally! A measurement that not only shows why marijuana doesn’t deserve demonization, but how pro-booze hypocrites no longer have a legit argument against pot.

  39. brownsmakemecrazy says: Jul 29, 2014 7:30 PM

    Wait didn’t the arbiter in the Jimmy Graham case totally go against what’s written in the CBA as to what determines what a WR is. Then NFL tried to use his twitter profile said he was.

    Hmm if the owners aren’t subject to the CBA then neither should the players be.

    Gordon should get out of punishment. The current CBA is obviously a poorly written document that was thrown together at the last minute. All agreements should be up to be renogiated immediately.

  40. bighat8 says: Jul 29, 2014 7:36 PM

    You just gotta laugh at the folk here citing the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement like they understand it. Why don’t you just say that’s what Mike n Mike says.

  41. themeccalambeaufield says: Jul 29, 2014 7:38 PM

    Only a moron fan of a team and its player would side with someone who is stupid enough to get caught 4 times yes 4 times ladies and gentlemen while potentially losing millions.

  42. brownsmakemecrazy says: Jul 29, 2014 7:43 PM


    Lol lawyers muddying the water. Hmm NFL has plenty of lawyers enforcing their idiotic policies. You are a hypocrite.

  43. brownsmakemecrazy says: Jul 29, 2014 7:47 PM


    Me being a fan of the Browns has nothing to do with a bad rule.

  44. trollhammer20 says: Jul 29, 2014 7:50 PM

    Gordon may be making this appeal at the right time.

    With all the negativity coming the NFL’s way for their lenient treatment of a wife-beater, suspending a guy for a full season for what amounts to a trace amount of marijuana isn’t going to look sane or reasonable in comparison.

    And if you live in Oregon…vote yes this November. Free the plant.

  45. ducksk says: Jul 29, 2014 7:58 PM

    brownsmakemecrazy: I would not hire you if you could not pass a drug test. I would not hire you if you were a drunk. I would not hire you to clean my restrooms. Fire up…I don’t care. Life has rules, don’t like them vote, don’t win, live with it. I’ll have a diet coke with thatbrownsmakemecrazy.

  46. ducksk says: Jul 29, 2014 8:04 PM

    4x loser. Gordon is stupid. Stuuuupid.

  47. denverdude7 says: Jul 29, 2014 8:07 PM

    There are only 2 points here:

    1. Were the rules in place and well known at the time of Gordon’s test?


    2. Did Gordon’s results exceed the allowable limit?

    If the answers to these questions are yes then he is gone for a year. No reduced suspension and no what ifs.

    Gordon knew the rules and broke them anyway.

    Adios Muchacho !!!

  48. brownsmakemecrazy says: Jul 29, 2014 8:10 PM


    I’ve never done drugs ever in my life so I’m not worried about passing your drug test.

    And I would never work for a nitwit like you anyway.

    As long as there are no murderers on the field I want to see the best players on the field. Marijuana is small on the list of any of my concerns and it should not be any concern of the NFLS either. It’s not a performance enhancing drug so it shouldn’t be the NFLS CONCERN. LET THE LEGAL SYSTEM HANDLE IT

  49. ducksk says: Jul 29, 2014 8:55 PM

    brownsmakemecrazy: he took chances. His gambles didn’t pay off. His is stupid for risking that, he is not a kid. He’s a paid professional athlete hired by an employer (owner) under a contract. He is stupid. So glad to hear your strait. Sorry, we aren’t hiring. Have too many good character folks abiding by the rules…..

  50. charman11 says: Jul 29, 2014 9:17 PM

    As a long time Browns fan and an occasional pot smoker.. I’d have to say let him play..however I understand that it is against the league rules and I am sure he knows that. But I have also heard that he didn’t even fail a test but that he was out of the country and didn’t even take the test. Is that true does anyone know? And that is the reason for this whole thing anyway. But regardless the pot testing has got to end and hopefully soon for the NFL. It is not an enhancement plant.. I can’t even call it a drug it isn’t, it’s a plant for crying out loud.

  51. brownsmakemecrazy says: Jul 29, 2014 9:24 PM

    Goodell and the greedy owners have done far more to tarnish the shield than players ever while. If a player messes up that’s a reflection on him individually.

    When Power Monger Goodell and crooks like Haslem, Wilf sand Irsay screw up that reflects poorly on a league that condone scumbags like them. So much for the vetting process of NFL owners.

  52. tattooit says: Jul 29, 2014 9:56 PM

    In 20yrs pot and HGH will be legal and even more widely used.

    Half of you rocket scientists haven’t a clue about the risks/rewards of Human Growth Hormone. The drug is still basically in it’s infancy. Just wait a decade until it evolves into an even more beneficial compound, with only a fraction of the side effects. Guys will be lined up around the block at their Dr’s office waiting for their prescriptions.

  53. lbcoach34 says: Jul 29, 2014 9:57 PM

    i’m guessing their may be some backlash in the twitter verse as it compares to the Ray Rice suspension…

  54. jimsnchz says: Jul 29, 2014 10:45 PM

    Yes the threshold is stupid but the players/supporters cannot say we want the WADA code for pot but not for HGH, TT, Peptides whatever their PED of choice. The players do not want that as the amount of guys getting popped would skyrocket. Beating a pot test is child’s play and getting caught whatever the amount when you get tested twice a year (and can figure out when if you’re smart) is plain amateur. You better believe the NFLPA does not want the full WADA code. Better off to sacrifice a few guys that can’t figure out the testing cycle.

  55. macbull says: Jul 29, 2014 10:50 PM

    Ray Rice going full MMA on his fiance…no big deal for Roger Goodell and the NFL…

    …Josh Gordon producing a split sample that averages less than the NFL’s limit for marijuana…

    …OMG, Roger Goodell and the NFL goes crazy, ready to suspend Gordon for a year.

    No, there is no favoritism in the NFL…I did hear that Roger had money down on the Ravens to make the playoffs…now that explains Rogers 2 game suspension of Ray Rice.

  56. philyeagles5 says: Jul 29, 2014 11:28 PM

    HAHA win the war on drugs?!?! as time goes on, it will only get harder to “win”. the war on drugs was lost when it started.

  57. oldcracker says: Jul 30, 2014 1:19 AM

    “Regardless, the NFL’s current limit of 15 ng/ml needs to change, especially since (as pointed out by ESPN’s Bomani Jones) the World Anti-Doping Agency raised its limit by an order or magnitude in 2013, from 15 to 150 ng/ml.”

    “Under the current policy as previously negotiated by the NFL and the NFLPA, arguments based on the disparity between Gordon’s “A” bottle and “B” bottle and whether the average concentration (based on the split sample) of 14.8 ng/ml in the two bottles came from second-hand smoke won’t matter.”

    “Am I missing something or isn’t the 14.8 ng/ml < 15 ng/ml?"

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