When it comes to the substance for which Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick tested positive, the report from ESPN’s Ed Werder is in the proverbial right church, but the wrong pew.
Werder reports that Scandrick tested positive tested positive for MDMA, otherwise known as Ecstasy or, more recently, Molly.
But MDMA isn’t a banned substance under the PED policy. MDMA falls under the substance-abuse policy, and a positive test doesn’t compel a suspension for a first offense. (In Scandrick’s case,the PED test wasn’t even checking for MDMA or other recreational drugs.)
The problem for Scandrick and, apparently, other NFL players who have tested positive for PEDs this offseason is that the MDMA they have taken on a recreational basis wasn’t pure, and it contained amphetamines. Amphetamines remain a banned substance under the PED policy.
If/when the NFL and NFLPA finally reach an agreement on HGH testing, amphetamines could join MDMA and other recreational drugs under the substance-abuse policy. While amphetamines consumed on game day can enhance performance, amphetamines taken on vacation in the offseason won’t do anything to help a football player artificially inflate his overall abilities.
But the potential improvements to the drug policies remain trapped under the inability of the NFL and NFLPA to hammer out the last major hurdle regarding HGH testing — whether discipline arising from something other than a positive test will be subject to third-party arbitration. The refusal of either side to blink on a fairly meaningless sticking point has resulted in plenty of suspensions, and plenty of lost dollars.
For Scandrick, the cost will amount to more than $1 million in lost salary.