Report: Antwan Odom expects to avoid suspension

On Thursday, news surfaced that Bengals defensive end Antwan Odom is facing a four-game suspension for violating the league’s steroids policy.  Odom has confirmed that a potential suspension is under appeal, and he has contended (via Twitter) that he did not test positive for a steroid or any other performance-enhancing substance.

Steve Wyche of reports that Odom expects to be cleared because the banned element is contained in a prescription medication.

Frankly, we’re not sure it matters.  Though Wyche contends that the steroids policy contains a provision “that allows players to take prescription medicines that could contain
banned substances or elements of a banned substance,” we’ve reviewed the steroids policy, and we’ve searched it for every variation of “prescribe” and “prescription.”  There’s no language permitting a player to take a banned substance with a prescription.

Instead, the policy states that team physicians “may not prescribe, supply, or otherwise facilitate a player’s use of Prohibited Substances.”  Coupled with the absence of express permission to take with a prescription from a non-team physician a drug containing a banned substance, this implies that the “I had a doctor’s prescription” defense doesn’t exist.

Wyche also reports that Odom hasn’t been notified of a suspension, but that’s a matter of semantics.  He has been informed of a positive test for a banned substance, and the penalty for a first offense is a four-game suspension.  Odom has exercised his right to appeal the finding; if the appeal fails, he’ll be suspended.

For Bengals fans, Odom’s availability will be a week-to-week proposition.  Typically, in-season suspensions are imposed on or before the Tuesday preceding a game.

For Patriots fans, get ready to complain about the ability of a “cheater” to play, if Odom ends up with five sacks on Sunday.

26 responses to “Report: Antwan Odom expects to avoid suspension

  1. Oh so if Odom has a good game Sunday, then he’s a cheater. But if he doesn’t, he’s not? Makes complete sense Mike. Dumbass. Really?
    Odom has been playing HORRIBLY in the off season due to recovering from a major achiles injury as well as a really bad bacterial virus causing him to drop 30lbs. You really think he’s going to come out and blow up Sunday? Honestly it’d probably be a good thing to give him 4 weeks off to help him fully recover from the illness he had.

  2. I can’t imagine there aren’t players allowed to take things on the banned list. Don’t many asthma medicines contain steroids? I would also think it would be some sort of legal violation to ban players from taking things they need for their health.

  3. Do some research. Odoms illness was well publicized in late July. It was pretty serious. I’m not surprised he was on some pretty strong meds. Just like I won’t be surprised when he isn’t suspended. Maybe you’ll do a story detailing his career threatening health this summer to make up for it.

  4. Odom coming back from serious illness AND an achilles tear pretty much means that he’s lucky to be on the field and close to 100% let alone be a dominant force. It is very doubtful he goes out there and is anywhere near the playmaker he was at the beginning of last season.

  5. i actually get the logic behind this, he is figuring since the Bengals break the rules so often that eventually the NFL is gonna get tired of suspending their players… also funniest post I have read in a while was the one where someone said Pats fans can’t complain about cheaters, the sarcasm is not lost on us.

  6. Steroids are prescribed for many different medical issues. I’m really not sure if they’re all banned, tho. Not all steroids are used for bulking up, etc.

  7. ” For Patriots fans, get ready to complain about the ability of a “cheater” to play, if Odom ends up with five sacks on Sunday.”
    Bite me.

  8. @Bell63
    Yeah, asthma, that’s the ticket. Doctor, my asthma’s still bad. You can’t hear it now but every time I lift weights it’s a problem. You need to give me one of those drugs with steroids and four times the usual dose.

  9. Wouldn’t surprise me if he avoided a suspension considering that Goodell only suspends players when there is a media backlash.

  10. You’re right Florio, it shouldn’t matter that he lost 30 pounds a couple months ago due to an illness. He’s an NFL player, he shouldn’t be allowed to take anything at all that would help him recover from an illness like that. If he can’t recover from it on his own, then he deserves to have the virus till it kills him. /sarcasm

    If Percy Harvin needs to take medical marijuana for his migraines wouldn’t that be considered a prescribed “prohibited substance”? Whats the difference between this and Odom’s situation? Why would Odom face punishment and Harvin wouldn’t?

  12. Seriously what could possibly be in Vagisel that the NFL would ban?!?! Just use a little vinegar and water.

  13. # steelers rule says: September 11, 2010 2:12 PM
    ban substance abuser= no suspension
    no charges= 4 game suspension!
    Comparing prescription medicine to rape

  14. @enders
    Ben should have been suspended by his team, not the NFL. By the letter of the conduct policy, he did nothing wrong. He wasn’t charged, and both of his accusers, when asked, “Did he rape you?” said no.
    I wouldn’t have any problem if Pittsburgh suspended him for the entire season. I do have a problem with Cedric Benson committing another felony and not being suspended, or Vince Young assaulting someone on camera and not being suspended. And too be honest, if Goodell enforced the rules consistently, I wouldn’t care too much about the NFL imposed penalty of Ben.
    But the reality is that he was only suspended because there was a media backlash (from a media that didn’t particularly care for Ben’s boorish behavior in the first place).

  15. To sum up this article: “We screwed up and ran a story that wasn’t true, but don’t expect us to admit that.”

  16. I just love how Steelers fans talk about not being charged and being suspended. It happen to Chris Henry and he was suspended 8 games. When he was suspected in an assault charge and the charges were dismissed. or how about odell thurman being suspended a the whole year for a DUI. then when he goes to come back he is suspended another year for absolutely nothing. quit whining. Odom was sick and if he proves he was perscribed the medication it has been said on espn and nfln as well there is a clause just because florio cant find in the policy doesnt mean it isnt there.

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