New drug policies would allow NFL to disclose more information

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Despite a report to the contrary, the NFL and NFLPA have not agreed to dramatic changes to the rules regarding marijuana pending an agreement on HGH testing.  However, other tentative deals have been struck on changes to the drug policies that would be implemented if/when the two sides can resolve their lingering differences regarding HGH.

Per a source with direct knowledge of the negotiations, the new policies would allow the NFL to say more regarding the reason for a suspension arising under the policy against performance-enhancing drugs.  Currently, the NFL simply announces the suspension (four games for a first offense), and the player and/or his agent can say whatever they want in the wake of the announcement.

The excuse of choice used to be the “my supplement was tainted.”  The trend then became to claim that the suspension arose from Adderall use, which carries far less of a stigma than steroids.  At least one twice-former NFL defensive rookie of the year claimed that his suspension resulted from not cheating but a cancer scare.

Through it all, the NFL can say nothing to counter whatever the player and/or his agent tenders to the media with the goal of avoiding the patina of cheating.

The new policy, whenever HGH testing becomes a reality, would allow the league to disseminate more information about the violation.  This will make it harder for players and/or agents to lie — and it will give other players more guidance as to the specific compounds and products that could get them suspended, too.

The league’s interest in ensuring that players accept responsibility for violations became clear last night, when the NFL issued a statement in response to agent Hadley Englehard’s comments regarding a four-game suspension imposed on Colts linebacker Robert Mathis.  Technically, the NFL’s remarks could amount to a violation of the policy, which provides that “[t]he confidentiality of players’ medical conditions and test results will be protected to the maximum extent possible, recognizing that players who are disciplined for violating this Policy will come to the attention of and be reported to the public and the media.”

But Englehard opened the door by addressing the situation, and it’s unfair for players and/or agents to say things that minimize their actions and create the impression that the NFL’s testing process only catches guys who aren’t actually breaking the rules.  Eventually (we hope), the league will be able to say more about why and how a guy got himself suspended.

15 responses to “New drug policies would allow NFL to disclose more information

  1. I am surprised that the union is even considering this. There is no way the players want their true use of ped’s released to the media due to the bad publicity they would receive. Granted, the right to privacy of medical records is critical, what does ped use have to do with medical records?

  2. so if i go on vacation and visit relatives in a state that allow certain drugs ,and i enter a smoked filled room and sit and talk to family members i can be suspended from the nfl?

  3. You can call us “Shehawks” as long as you remember to put “World Champion” in front of it.

  4. See the issue here is because people that actually cheat, use ped try and use any exsuse in the book when they get caught. The situation with Mathis should be reviewed cause his story seems to have truth to it (and its humiliating). If the drugs he use where prescribed by a physician its well documented so his story can be verified. Retest him now and see if its still present in his system cause by now those drugs would have been metabolized and out of his body. As far as the other people with the weed I dont have as much simplicity for them. Thats a recreational choice they make.

  5. This could be helpful, too, in that a player can have his claim of a substance backed up by the league. They’ll still be suspended, sure, but your public image is hurt waaay less if the league can publicly confirm your story.

  6. richard sherman can’t lie his way out this new policy.

    The NFL will be allowed to call him on it now.

  7. Having the current one > Having ones won before you were born.

    Our SB highlights were recorded in digital 1080p and are available on Blu-Ray. Yours are available on VHS.

  8. Steroids became available right around the late 60’s. Also the time when the NFL became good. It’s not a coincidence. No PEDs and the league would be nothing like it is. You can’t bench press 500 pounds plus and run a sub 4.4 40 yrd dash with zeo body fat. It doesn’t happen naturally regardless of how hard you work out.

  9. PED testing I understand but why test for recreational drugs? If pot , coke , and opiates are part of the program then ALL people associated with the team , from the waterboy to the secretaries all the way up to the owner (I.e Jim Irsay) should be peeing in a cup.

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