Wes Welker calls drug policy system “clearly flawed”


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.

188 responses to “Wes Welker calls drug policy system “clearly flawed”

  1. I can actually sympathize with him to a degree. The league has become such a behemoth, financially and otherwise, that it feels it can do pretty much anything. Way too controlling….way too corporate…way too full of itself….

  2. Clearly he was slipped a Molly. That is what he is saying with that statement. I find it interesting that this “process” played out over the last several weeks and is only now public. Two sides to every story but it was in his system….how did it “get” there????????

  3. Flawed like the MDMA he took. He wanted PURE MDMA which is legal by the NFL. His was laced with a bit of Ritalin or Adderall. Makes sense to ban him for non-pure MDMA.

    NFL is going to implode.

  4. Undrafted

    5 Foot 9 inches high. Performing like a super star for so many years with a measly 185 lb. body, in a world of physical beasts who were trying on every snap, to take his head off.

    I have to admire this guy.


  5. I would have thought a guy with a former Hooters waitress for a wife would have known a bit more about a drugs of abuse policy. He makes millions playing a game, and plays the stupid card while blaming the rules when he gets caught.

    Low class Wes. The Broncos and the NFL deserve better.

  6. Wes, you were clearly messed up at the derby. The NFL does need revisions in its disciplinary actions on first time drug users, but have some level of accountability for what you obviously took.

  7. Why not have every player be tested on game day and regardless if they have banned substances that are from using days previously that are still lingering or just absorbed the player faces consequences. Im not condoning drug use but if a player wants to smoke some weed in April what’s the issue since it’s the offseason?

    Or players should be tested for HGH to prevent a competitive advantage but players get to smoke weed as a natural rehab remedy.

  8. I am in no way, shape, or form a Broncos fan, but how come you mention this:
    “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.”

    NOW. But never brought it up during the Josh Gordan episode?

  9. so in other words he’s not taking responsibility for his actions, and is blaming “the system” for catching him doing those actions. oh, i see…yeah, he’s above all that.

  10. It doesn’t matter if he’s telling the truth here or not. American’s tend to judge guilty first until proven innocent. And in something like this, it will be hard for him to prove his innocence. Even if he’s somehow able to prove he never took the drug, he’ll still be linked to PED’s for the rest of his playing career and beyond. It’s a sad situation for one of the games most consistent receivers over the past decade.

  11. Right, but you have no problem taking ecstasy (Molly) which is illegal in most countries, including the U.S. Possession of five grams or more is normally punishable for 5 to as many as 40 years in jail.

    Spare me the diatribe. Maybe the drug is misclassified as performance enhancing but it remains an illegal drug and taking it would still result in some form of penalty under the substance abuse program.

    You should get another 2 games just for being such a “rhymes with whoosh”.

  12. Pure class that organization. Head office employees busted for DUI, self proclaimed future hall of fame von miller busted for molly, record holding kicker busted for d.u.i., now this? And this is the media darling team? I mean come on.

  13. Hey, Wes. Why don’t you zip it and take some responsibility for your situation?! Oh, no, none of this is your fault. Sure. It’s a familiar song that you’re singing and, quite frankly, it’s getting a little old.

  14. Expressing “ignorance” of these policies??? C’mon Wes, don’t go down that road. You were complacent when it happened to others, but now that it’s you, the policy is suddenly flawed .You know exactly what the policies are. Argue it with your union then, you’re the one who agreed to it. Never thought he’d turn into a punk….keep getting your knucklehead qb his stats, wes, you know how he wants every yard. Or better yet, get him to change the rules for you, he’s an expert at that.

  15. not a broncos fan, not a welker fan.

    but enough already with these suspensions for off-season recreational drug use. nfl doesn’t need to be so deeply into this issue. i don’t care about the things these guys do (that don’t hurt other people) during their downtime.

    change the policies.

  16. Looks like he picked the wrong week to not quit amphetamines.

    Does sniffing glue count as a banned substance?

    Lloyd Bridges would have failed these tests miserably.

  17. Flaw #1
    You can be in violation if the product you take does not list that it contains a banned substance as part of it & the product is not listed on the banned substance list even though the league knows it should be on the list.

  18. Curtis I agree with you but you can ease off that CBA crap and I’m going let Wes run with this a little further just to see how ignorant he really is.

  19. Oh wah, wah, if I had a nickel for every time I heard that excuse “I didn’t know”, I would be a billionaire. Just man up and accept the punisnment.

  20. “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.

    So you’re concerned NOW because you got popped?

  21. This article is pretty pointless, particularly when it give no information on what PED Welker tested positive for, what Welker thinks are the flaws with the policy, and what he thinks should be done to correct them. As it stands, this article is about nothing more than a player, Welker, whining because he got caught using a banned substance and crying about how unfair this has been to him. Never mind the fact that the drug policy, as well as the procedures to challenge a positive test and the penalties, were all decided on through the collective bargaining process and agreed to by the players and their union.

  22. Considering he plays against the LOB in week 3, some wags assumed that he did this on purpose… so he would still be able to play from week 5 on.

    Looking at how he played in the SB (scared), their may be some truth to that.


  23. Right Wes, it’s not you….you’re not on drugs….it’s how the specimen was collected….that’s what is flawed….right?


    How about commenting on the leagues concussion policies then?

  24. Yes, now that I got caught, the system is flawed; Wes you’ve played great but you’ve taken 3 too many hits in the head to be believable. Man up take your punishment and ride off into the sunset

  25. I got caught so now the system is flawed, man up take your punishment, and file your claim saying you weren’t told that hits to the head could be detrimental to your health.

  26. Who do these guys think they are fooling? If you have done nothing unusual, then everyone would be getting nabbed for simple intake of normal substances. Face up, Wes, you knowingly took a banned substance and you got caught!

  27. A string of players have been caught this year.
    It seems like many believed that they could take certain recreational drugs and get away with it and when they get caught and get suspended, they start blaming the policy.
    It sounds like Wes is taking recreational drugs ie ecstasy ie molly and he got caught. How is this a problem with the system being flawed?
    They throw the book at Josh Gordon for relatively harmless smoking pot, but Wes is on ecstasy and he blames the drug policy?

  28. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We’ve heard this all before from guys like Welker.

    The bottom line is, the NFL has a clear policy about what you can take and what you can’t, and if you have half a brain and you are about to take something that could cause you to be suspended, pick up the phone and call the NFL and ask them BEFORE you take it. It’s just that easy. If they say you can take it, there’s no way you can be suspended for failing a drug test.

    I have no sympathy for any of these guys who fail these tests, because they’re just not being smart.

  29. The drug policy system may be flawed but so is the concussion protocol system and this may very well be a blessing in disguise for Wes. Another 5 weeks (including the bye) should do his swollen brain some good.

  30. I have a hard time understanding how this happens to so many players…. They have access to team medical staff, financial resources to get whatever they need, and still “unknowingly” ingest banned substances….sorry I just really don’t accept the premise that he wasn’t aware and therefore it’s not his fault

  31. Sorry but as a parent, I don’t give a damn about the policy! He took Molly!!! My wife and I talk to our son about the dangers of taking any drug. Me being a 54 yo male, had to look up what it was. Any athlete who takes drugs should be banned. Whether they or I like it or not, kids look up to them. Also even though I would still be disappointed in Wes, I would have more respect for him if he just owned up to it, took his punishment, and moved on.

  32. C’mon Wes. Stop with the same old song and dance and accept responsibility for ingesting ecstasy and speed. Not the systems fault you got popped. Idiot drugged up wide receiver. Way to let your fans down.

  33. Maybe Belicheck knew or suspected something and that’s why they didn’t commit to a huge contract for him.

    If Welker did indeed take Molly (aka Ecstasy) with his concussion history, he needs to rethink things. Go to Wiki and read up on “Molly”.

  34. well let me help you out with the understanding of the rules, Wes. You cheated, you got caught. You have no doubt been cheating for a while so consider the years you were not caught to be borrowed and be thankful for them. That is the Patriots way. You are forever tarnished and this will follow you all the days of your life… ” * “

  35. It doesn’t matter if you knew it or not Wes, you tested positive for them. If people are giving you drugs you don’t know about maybe you should change who is in your entourage.

    Quite honestly, if I thought someone slipped something in my drink I’d be focused on finding out exactly who just messed with my career and my reputation instead of whining about the testing policy and process.

  36. Its funny how guilty people find policies that get them busted “flawed”. It was either in your system or not. It really is that simple.

  37. So Wes, apparently you’re saying the policy is not flawed when applied to others – only when it is applied to you, eh? What a double standard hypocrite. Get your head screwed on straight.

  38. Wes Welker is clearly deranged from all the concussions he has endured. MDMA/Molly has been proven to create holes in the brain. Anyone with his history of traumatic brain concussions should be smart enough to avoid the drug.

  39. So let me get this straight, or at least take a stab at it… Welker is upset that he failed a drug test that proved him to have taken ecstacsy, or in it’s pure form Molly because it wasn’t pure after all? He think the system is flawed because it worked? I think little Wes has had one too many concussions and should walk away from the game and stick to horse racing.

  40. “Until getting caught, I couldn’t have cared less about any of this, but now that I have been I’m outraged and stuff, so long as I don’t have to admit that my own stupidity cost me a quarter of the season.”

    Come on, guy.

    *Broncos fan*

  41. Sure, the system is “clearly flawed” because you got caught. You want to know the easiest way to avoid the system altogether? Don’t take recreational or PEDs.

  42. Just a coincidence that another top WR is busted by the NFL for a “banned” substance?

    First Josh Gordon, the NFL’s top WR is suspended for a year for testing 1 freaking nanogram/ml over the NFL’s outdated level of 15.0 ng/ml.

    BTW, Gordon’s B sample was tested 1.4 nanograms below the outdated limit of 15.0 ng/ml, but according to the NFL, that doesn’t matter.

    Now we have the very popular WR, Wes Welker, one of Peyton Manning’s go to guys, nailed for testing positive for something he says never knowingly ingested.

    Goodell says he wants a new drug policy too, but only if he can maintain the right (power) to deal out punishment. The NFLPA wants a neutral arbiter deciding punishment. If the two sides could solve this issue, there would be a new drug policy now.

    This is Roger Goodell’s method of driving the point home that the NFL does indeed need a new drug and PED policy, but only on Roger’s terms.

    By nailing the most marginal players such as Welker and Gordon, Goodell is sending a message that he will play hardball until he gets what he wants.

  43. “Performance enhancing” is a broad term that both Viagra and Ecstacy apparently fall under. Sorry Wes, but it’s only flawed because you got popped.

  44. The perpetrators always need to blame someone else for getting caught. It is never their fault. Taking personal responsibility means actually respecting and following the rules like the majority of players do. In a billion dollar business does anybody believe the “plausible deniability” lines as they get more sophisticated or ridiculous? Sports has always provided athletes the means to circumvent the system. These remarks express that arrogance.

  45. I have a hard time feeling sorry for any of the players that take anything and get caught. They are making a ton more money than they would in any other career and are willing to throw it away for drugs? SMH.

  46. Welker, it is you that are clearly flawed putting any additional substances into your body other than food and water. You earn millions hire a personal doctor if you have to. Or next time maybe set an example when you are considering drugs such as amphetamines and don’t be a DOPE. Your excuse here reminds me of someone caused of murder and blaming the deceased. Grow up!

  47. Has publicly denying something ever made someone sound innocent? It’s time for Welker to be quiet for the next 4 weeks, anything he says makes him sound guilty.

  48. Well you knowingly took a drug that was against the substance abuse policy. Just so happened it was laced with something that put you up against the PED policy. As a professional whose life is heavily regulated regarding what you put in your body how about you just enjoy the horse race without taking something illegal.

  49. Interesting article. For guys that get paid a lot of money to know what they put in their bodies, we hear many complaints about the system being flawed. Something is flawed, I’ll give you that.

  50. And how exactly is the system flawed? I know that you probably didn’t put the amphetamine in the Extasy (MDMA), but did you take Extasy? If you did take Extasy and you didn’t make it, how exactly would you know what was in it? Do you have a personal relationship with the manufacturer? If you don’t have a relationship with the manufacturer, you’re obviously showing that you’re not overly concerned about what you put in your body. But open your can of worms and let’s see what’s inside.

  51. Listen Wes. Man up. You got out of BB rigid system. Were at the Derby, drank too much, someone suggested Molly, under normal conditions you say no but ur trashed, they say what are the odds you get drug tested in the next week or so, ya do it, then get drug tested a week later and get busted. It happens. Don’t blame the system blame your bad decision.

  52. Ok,Wes.

    Here’s another perspective for you:
    whats clearly flawed is taking XTC at age 33 because you’re acting like a 22 yr old.
    Grow up clown.

  53. Actually, I believe that he didn’t do it for competitive advantage. But, if you take ecstasy at a Rave, you are still voluntarily putting it into your system. So, I think what Wes was trying to say is that “I thought the stuff would be out of my system before I would be tested and I mess up, so I have to blame the system!”

  54. I believe he actually sat down and typed that e-mail himself without help from a PR person. Good lesson, be articulate, and people will listen.
    Suspended under the PED policy for something taken in May (1st Saturday) that isn’t anabolic steroids is stupid. whatever was in there would be long gone before it mattered.

  55. You know how David Stern fixed the NBA’s recreational drug problem/image?

    He stopped testing players for non performance enhancing drugs.

    Time for the NFL to follow suit.

  56. Let em pump up full of drugs! Am i the only person in this country that wants to see the biggest, strongest, fastest? I don’t care about these people, they’re entertainers like actors and musicians. Their well-being only affects my team’s performance and my fantasy league’s success. If they want big muscles and small testicles, LET THEM AT IT.

  57. Has there ever been a player caught taking PEDs that didn’t say, “I didn’t knowingly take the substance” or “The system is flawed.” Welker was able to use both.

  58. He’s right in that taking these drugs while partying at the Kentucky Derby would never give him any advantage during a game, they would be long out of his body.

    The problem is if you use them while partying it raises the question did you use them during a season ?

  59. Corrected? – He either had amphetamines in his system or he didn’t. Apparently, he did. He will be out of the league and forgotten when this CBA expires. I seriously doubt the next CBA (drug policy) will allow amphetamines.

  60. Violates every state law and takes illegal drugs, employer finds out and suspends him: sorry not sorry. Guy makes millions and too cheap to buy MDMA without speed in it: sorry,not sorry.

  61. You tested positive for amphetamines.

    Are there any legal substances that contain amphetamines?

    If its a training supplement, at this point in time, you should know well enough to clear it with your team first.

    Otherwise, you knowingly did something wrong. Supplements are the only way they should possibly enter your body. And the NFL has a list of approved supplements.

    I feel bad that so many people are testing positive for this stuff this year, but at this point you should really know better.

  62. Hey Wes, the right way to change a policy is to become involved in doing so Before you get busted. Handing out Bennys with your shades on indoors is an excellent way to get tested!

  63. So, since it happened to a high-profile player on a high-profile team, Goodell is going to change the policy mid-season?

    Gotto keep them revenues up even at the cost of distorting the integrity of the game.

  64. You know who is ok with the system? The hundreds and hundreds of other NFL players not taking banned supplements. It’s a pretty simple system really. A child could follow it. Don’t take banned drugs. There isn’t a second step to follow.

  65. WBSJ in New York says Rex Ryan was quoted as saying “Well good golly Mrs. Molly, I hope Welker’s sorry for what he did and is back playing soon” Rex also said “Welker’s suspension will speed by and he’ll be playing before we know it” and “Welker is a smart guy. He’ll get a lawyer and have the upper hand in this legal mess”

  66. This is a substance abuse issue, not a PED issue. That’s his point.

    He took a party drug, not steroids. The system is flawed because it failed to distinguish that.

  67. Football fans, at some point, need to come to grips with the fact that about 90-95% of NFL players are not good people. They are not smart. In fact, you could easily argue that they are some of the dumbest in society.

    I for one love watching them bash each other for many weeks during the fall/winter. But I’m not under any illusions as to what type of people they are…

    Once “we” collectively get to that point, maybe it will allow the league to ignore some of these BS drug suspensions for stars. Do we really care if Wes Welker took amphetamines? Or Josh Gordon, Levian Bell, or LeGarrette Blount smoked a little dope?

    It’s 2014, there has to be a better way of finding out if a player is cheating in some way. The answer is probably, yes, they are pretty much all cheating in some way.

  68. these guys make all this money and whine like babies when they get caught.if you don’t want a spiked drink,fix the drink yourself. now be a man,take your punishment,and grow the hell up.

  69. Wow – lot of experts here with inside information about the specifics of the application of the NFL’s drug policy and Welker’s case in particular. Perhaps we ought to hear what he has to say before he is maligned as a hypocrite, cheater, drug abuser….

  70. Hey, Wes, clearly the system IS NOT flawed because it caught YOU. Are you going to blame it on all your concussions? Maybe you shouldn’t play any longer. Ban him for life!

  71. Ah excuse me but wasn’t the process part of the last CBA? There are 2016 players on NFL rosters this season (53 plus 10 taxi times 32). So far only 25 have been caught for the 2014 season which is just over 1.2% for the entire league. If the process was so flawed then there would be an exorbitant amount of people charged and suspended for failing a test. That assertion by Welker seems to be flawed in itself.

  72. I think the first time should be a 1 year suspension and the next time your done. Make it fair to the people who have morals and actually care about what is being put into their body. If your not good enough then your not good enough!!

  73. As a a former employee of a company that did contract work for Walmart, it is safe enough to say their drug policy is not effective. Their only concern was the amount of time spent on a job. If the job wasn’t done on time, they assumed you were on drugs.

  74. The system is clearly flawed and he’s going to do everything in his power to correct it……. and OJ is going to find the real killer. Hooray for NFL players past and present for taking care of the world’s problem that can’t be solved by the proper authorities.

  75. Why is this guy still talking? If he doesn’t get suspended, as all other black athletes are when violating this policy, I will be angry.
    Take your suspension like a man and move on Welker. You’re such a huge distraction for your team, Organization and the NFL as a whole.
    I think those concussions may sadly, have already taken a toll on this young man. Sad.

  76. Raiderapologist, 12th Man from up north on I-5. Love your comnent. I still can’t stop laughing and I have tears coming out of my eyes I’m laughing so hard. You definitely made my day. Good luck to you guys with your new gifted QB.

  77. Players get suspended for taking pot und the PED policy, yet it is not a performance enhancing drug either, it a conduct issue, within the policy. It’s wrong…you knew it was wrong, so own it. Be a man and not the selfish little boy we know you are and salvage some of your dignity.

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