After learning that he would be suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the NFL’s performance enhancing drugs policy, Denver Broncos receiver Wes Welker elected to express issues over the policies themselves while expressing ignorance over his violation of those policies.
In an email to Mike Klis of the Denver Post, Welker relayed the standard line from players following drug suspensions that he would “NEVER knowingly take a substance to gain a competitive advantage in any way.”
However, Welker then turned his attention to the system that led to his suspension in the first place. Welker called the drug testing programs “clearly flawed” and vowed to attempt to get the issues corrected in the future.
“I have never been concerned with the leagues performance enhancing or drug abuse policies because under no scenario would they ever apply to me, but I now know, that (drug-policy procedures) are clearly flawed, and I will do everything in my power to ensure they are corrected, so other individuals and teams aren’t negatively affected so rashly like this,” Welker said.
Welker did not elaborate on what part of the process he took issue with. However, the policies themselves were collectively bargained as a part of the CBA that was signed between the league and player’s union in 2011.
A first offense for a violation of the performance enhancing drugs policy is a four game suspension. The four game suspension is actually a five-week ban as the Broncos have their bye week in Week 4.
The league officially announced the suspension Tuesday night. He will be eligible to return to the team on Monday, October 6.