Edelman’s suspension was upheld by a truly independent arbitrator

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Many fans and media members are conditioned to respond to news of the failed appeal of a player suspension by shrugging and saying, “What do you expect? The union allowed the Commissioner to be judge, jury, and executioner.”

But when it comes to positive tests under the PED policy (and positive tests under the substance-abuse policy), that’s simply no longer the case. As part of the finalized agreement that authorizes the NFL to conduct blood testing for HGH, the league (surprisingly) agreed to surrender its previously exclusive power to resolve appeals of suspensions for positive test results.

The panel of independent arbitrators for PED positive tests consists of lawyers who are jointly selected and compensated by the league and the NFL Players Association. So the player who has a strong argument that the league believes is weak doesn’t have to worry about a league executive or an independent hearing officer who really isn’t independent rubber stamping the league’s position.

As it relates to Patriots receiver Julian Edelman, it means that he had a full and fair chance to persuade a truly independent arbitrator that he shouldn’t be suspended, and that the independent arbitrator didn’t buy the arguments.

Perhaps at some point the arbitrator’s written decision will be leaked, but probably not by Edelman’s representatives. They likely don’t want the public to see that Edelman received a proper hearing from an independent arbitrator, and they likely don’t want the public to have a chance to digest the manner in which an independent arbitrator resolved a case that reportedly hinged in part on the vague notion that Edelman tested positive for “unrecognized substance.”

As previously surmised, that seemed to be a clever P.R. strategy aimed at creating the impression that the unrecognized substance possibly wasn’t a PED. However, the full context of the PED policy suggests the league determined that, even though the specific substance may not have fit within more than 70 specific anabolic compounds listed in the policy, the thing for which Edelman tested positive nevertheless had “a similar chemical structure and similar biological effect(s)” to an anabolic agent.

Regardless of the specifics, the generalities paint a clear picture: Edelman received a fair opportunity to argue his case, and a truly independent arbitrator wasn’t impressed. He’ll serve his four-game suspension, barring a highly unlikely legal Hail Mary that becomes even more difficult when the arbitrator is truly independent.

46 responses to “Edelman’s suspension was upheld by a truly independent arbitrator

  1. Yes he may well have juiced to speed recovery and deserve the ban, but the CBA requires the ban to be applied against one of the “specifically listed” substances. As far as we know, the NFL never identified it (and messed up the paperwork, which got Sherman off). Maybe the NFL later identified it and updated the arbitrator?? – but given they leaked every step so far then why not leak the most damning one? And why does Sherman get off on a technicality and not Edelman?

  2. Oh baloney, we know he is only suspended because Goodell hates us. He is always picking on us and we have never cheated or done anything wrong!!

  3. Too late, the boy has cried wolf too many times, we don’t care what the NFL does, they lost all credibility a long time ago and they won’t get it back.

  4. And because of this it’s quite likely that Pats fans will accept and move on. (the logical ones anyway)
    Rest assured the “trolls” will not. Can’t wait for the 50 articles the media wrings out of this either.
    But hey, an offseason isn’t complete for some unless they can spend it fixated on the Patriots.

  5. streetyson says:
    July 4, 2018 at 8:12 am
    Yes he may well have juiced to speed recovery and deserve the ban, but the CBA requires the ban to be applied against one of the “specifically listed” substances. As far as we know, the NFL never identified it (and messed up the paperwork, which got Sherman off). Maybe the NFL later identified it and updated the arbitrator?? – but given they leaked every step so far then why not leak the most damning one? And why does Sherman get off on a technicality and not Edelman?

    ——

    A few articles ago there was an alleged scientist who posted a complete analysis of how this happens-

    You can take something that has the same effect and partial makeup of Adderall that has a similar compound, and it will show up as a banned substance, even though what it is won’t exactly be known. Edelman did the same thing – even though they don’t know what it was he took exactly, it still had the same effect and makeup as one of the league’s banned substances. I’m sure if they find out what it is, they’ll add the thing to the list.

  6. “Edelman’s suspension was upheld by a truly independent arbitrator”
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    As opposed to the non-independent, biased, lopsided officiators in stripes
    who help tom brady every game with bogus pass interference penalties,
    phantom defensive holding penalties, and no-call offensive holding penalties.

  7. What Edelman tested positive for “had similar chemical structure and similar biological effect(s) to an anabolic agent”

    That closes this case. That constitutes a positive test. And it is good that it does. People are out developing new PED’s all the time. And there are rules in place that even a new drug with similar chemical structure and effects to the body will not be tolerated in this league.

    Nice try Edelman trying to take something newly developed that you thought you could get away with. Bravo to the league and testers that this was caught and should be a warning to those trying to illegally use newly developed PED’s thinking that they are slick. You will be busted!

  8. Lol. Not like it matters who made the decision. Im a local Pats homey and I still would have upheld it. His defense was all about procedural stuff, not guilt or innocence. They used a strategy that is for courts of law not NFL proceedings that dont have the same evedentuary rules. It was obvious he took something was the bottom line. Im not even upset he got suspended. As nice as he is to have on the field the Pats have shown plenty that they know other ways to win games than just with Edelman.

    Another reason Im not that upset is Im not sure I blame him. With his age and the seriousness of the injury it might have been a choice between taking something he knows they will still pick up on and bag him for four games this season while he is back in for the other 12 and postseason, or having the injury linger to take away most or all of his remaining football life. Given that choice a lot of guys in the NFL, I would venture most, would just choose to do it and eat the suspension that is 90% likely. Especially if he does not have a history of prior offenses he knows he is only going to eat a light punishment.

  9. greymares says:
    July 4, 2018 at 8:36 am
    I’m convinced the cheating is a culture, you buy in when you adorn the uniform

    ————————-
    Is that why Patriots players are so heavily coveted by other teams when they come up for free agency?

  10. Is the CBA not a contract? Does the CBA state a prohibition to the specific tested substance, or is their language to allow for others substances like those listed? Does the NFL not have to abide by evidenciary procedures and ethics? NFL players do share common misjustice with most folks who must have a computer and its software to be productive in today’s world, but are required to submit to arbitration and surrender their rights to due, legal process to use that platform; so to do NFL players have to surrender the same to pursue a career as an NFL professional football player. Arbitration is a corrupt, unfair, tilted, stacked process whether three, five, seven non-third party, compensated by the defendant, arbitrators or not.

    By the way, what do you get with three arbitrators in a room? Four available opinions.

  11. streetyson says:
    July 4, 2018 at 8:12 am
    Yes he may well have juiced to speed recovery and deserve the ban, but the CBA requires the ban to be applied against one of the “specifically listed” substances. As far as we know, the NFL never identified it (and messed up the paperwork, which got Sherman off). Maybe the NFL later identified it and updated the arbitrator?? – but given they leaked every step so far then why not leak the most damning one? And why does Sherman get off on a technicality and not Edelman?

    30 35 Rate Thi

    ——————

    You know the answer to that. It is also why Mannibg used HGH and Goodell’s Article 46 disappeared.

    Chin and Parker were supposed to be independent, too.

    What a joke.

  12. The back to back AFC Champions and 5 time World Champion Patriots, winners of more Super Bowl titles than any NFL team in the last 35 years, winners of more games this century than any other team, home of the GOAT QB, GOAT coach, the greatest organization and fanbase in sports as proven by a recent study and the paragon of excellence in the modern NFL and if I’m being completely honest, the paragon of excellence in any sport at any time – they’ll be fine. As usual. 🙂

  13. “but the CBA requires the ban to be applied against one of the “specifically listed” substances. As far as we know, the NFL never identified it”

    Or any related substances. The NFL didn’t have to identify the drug to know that it has anabolic effects. BALCO happened in a similar fashion. The class the drug belonged to was known well before THG aka The Clear was identified.

    Edelman might very well be the first case of what turns out to be another designer steroid scandal.

  14. Chin and Parker were supposed to be independent, too.
    ——–
    Any commissioner that actually suspends a player for possibly being kinda generally sorta aware that someone may or may not have taken two chipmunk farts of air out of footballs is simply not meant to be taken seriously.

  15. You can use semantics to try and say Edelman’s not guilty but the reality is he is. The CBA is also written to cover the fact that many PEDs are designer drugs and those who make them can alter the formulas to obtain the same result but not be an “identified substance”. They have the same markers that indicate they’re a PED though, and it is what it is.

    Edelman took a chance to heal faster, he got caught, now he pays the price. Such is life.

  16. greymares says:
    July 4, 2018 at 8:36 am
    I’m convinced the cheating is a culture, you buy in when you adorn the uniform
    ——————————————————————————-
    Sure. Right. Cause Lord knows no other team has had players busted for PED’s.

  17. 1st off, nobody is surprised by this ruling being upheld, the Patriots hate is strong with the league.

    2nd, I’m sure Edelman was most likely experimenting with the recovery of his injury, most players at that stage in their careers would do the same unless they were ready to call it a career.

    I love Jules and this does not diminish anything he has accomplished in his career, but haters are gonna run with this regardless…because you know, only the Pats have ever actually cheated, right whiners?

  18. You don’t use anabolic agents to heal faster. Their purpose it to juice your body for better performance.

    Pats fans can spin this to a way they feel it sounds like he wasn’t cheating if that helps them sleep at nite. Great.

    He is a cheater and got caught. Accept it and stop trying to make excuses and downplay things for every Pats player that gets busted.

  19. The players get a list of approved supplements.
    If you stick to the list, you will be fine.
    Players take unapproved supplements to get an edge.
    How can you cry when you choose to roll the dice and it comes up snake eyes?

  20. Everyone simply tired of the revolving door of Patsie discipline . Non stop every single year

  21. The Truth says:
    July 4, 2018 at 11:54 am
    Everyone simply tired of the revolving door of Patsie discipline . Non stop every single year
    ——————————————–
    Atlanta and the Seahawks have 7 suspensions for PED’s since 2000. Colts, Ravens, Giants Patriots, 8. Chargers, Broncos, Bears, Panthers 9. Bucs 10. Seems discipline is a problem for multiple organizations. The Cowboys lead in total games lost due to suspensions by a mile followed by the Raven and the Browns. Once again fake news from the alleged truth.

  22. Oh baloney, we know he is only suspended because Goodell hates us. He is always picking on us and we have never cheated or done anything wrong!!…4th of July fireworks: pats fans whining…

  23. Edelman was trying to get off on a technicality ala Dick Sherman, instead of fighting that he didn’t do anything wrong.

  24. I have to give you credit for this. First time you ever (almost) gave credit to the league.

  25. Edelman is a very intelligent guy, he knew exactly what he was doing and he got caught. I’m as big a Patriots fan as anybody but they should get rid of him. All the other “cheating” allegations against the team were either silly (Spygate) or unproven (Deflategate).

    This, however, is real. Cut him.

  26. Tommy will not allow anyone to cut Edelman, that his boy. Like Tommy is Kraft’s boy. It goes on and on,some guys are untouchable.

  27. @imodan

    You mention TEN teams in your rambling post. How MANY of those ten drag out the proceedings like the Patsies do ? Supreme courts, lawyers, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, etc etc appeals judges. They are sickening and you are a stooge for goin along with it

  28. And people wonder why the Pats always win. They cheat! They are world class cheaters and God only knows what they do that the NFL is unaware of. Put a big astrik on all their records since Bill and Tommy have been there.

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