Should NFL enhance PED penalties?

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In baseball, players who violate the league’s PED policy serve a regular-season suspension, and they are barred from participating in the postseason. The NFL doesn’t do that.

Maybe the NFL should handle it the same way that baseball does. Perhaps fans and media don’t seem to care all that much about PED violations because the NFL doesn’t care about PED violations as much as it should, allowing someone like Patriots receiver Julian Edelman to miss the first four games of the year, return for the balance of the regular season, participate in the playoffs, and ultimately be named the MVP of the Super Bowl.

Edelman won a prize that could have (perhaps should have) gone to someone who didn’t take a substance that falls on the list of banned substances, as determined by the NFL and the NFL Players Association. Sure, Edelman may have done it to help recover from a torn ACL suffered in 2017. But that doesn’t matter. A banned substance is a banned substance. Edelman, who has managed to say not much of anything about what he took, why he took it, whether he knew what he was taking, and/or whether he knew that he was violating the PED policy, violated the PED policy — and it’s entirely possible that he assumed the risk getting caught (missing four games if he did) in order to ensure that he would still be able to perform at an acceptable level (possibly missing all 16 games if he didn’t).

Until the league and the union agree to greater punishment for PED violations, plenty of players will engage in what amounts to a game of chance, risking the ability to play some games in order to ensure the ability to play in the rest of them — and possibly to end the season clutching the Lombardi Trophy in one hand and the Pete Rozelle Trophy in the other.

43 responses to “Should NFL enhance PED penalties?

  1. In a sport as dangerous as the NFL, not only should they get rid of PED penalties, the NFL should encourage players to take PEDs as a way to recover from injuries.

  2. That’s an interesting idea. It made me think of the deer antler spray situation (which was during the post season) but I don’t think the league even bothered to test for it?

    As corrupt as the league is, I wouldn’t trust them enough to enforce or apply the rules in a balanced and fair manner anyway. But it is interesting in theory.

  3. Why should a team/player be punished extra simply because the team played better? This would mean a Pats player PED suspension would potentially be for 7 games (almost double) while the Jets player would only be punished 4 games.

  4. The PED penalties are a joke. Read the scientific studies about how long PEDs last in enhancing performance. They last decades. Taking PEDs adds muscle cells and brown fat. Yes, it increases the number of cells. Those changes last for years, and some scientists argue decades. So why not take them if you are in the NFL? You get much stronger and faster, you sit out a few games when they slap you on the wrist, and then you go back and play in your altered state. You win if you use PEDs. You make a huge amount of money, and get your name in the record books. The only way to eliminate PEDs is to start suspensions at 50% of the season, and double the penalty from there for each violation.

  5. I am a supporter of letting players take whatever they want to keep their bodies in competition condition. The level of damage they take playing this sport is brutal and we have plenty of compounds that can speed recovery a ton and also increase the product on the field.

    I also say this because drug testing is worthless. You can’t even test players for new substances that haven’t been discovered yet. Some of the newer compounds they know about but can’t test for. Some of the others that can be tested for are out of your system within a half a day or a couple days. It’s just all over the place.

    Just let everyone do whatever they want with their bodies.

    If you really want to get technical, you could punish players for eating healthy diets and weight training, since it boosts their performance much higher than someone that just eats fast food and never works out at all.

  6. The league couldn’t even tell him what it was that he took. Half of the stuff you can find at GNC falls on that list. There should be more defined terms than throwing a PED blanket over everything. Maybe draw a line between actual steroids/HGH, and these over the counter snake oil pills?

  7. Because we’re talking about the PATs let’s change the rules again! Von Miller tested for PEDs suspended for the start of the 2013 season and plays in the Superbowl! Well, he was in the Superbowl Seatle blew that game wide open! No asking or talking about changing the rules!

  8. Normal penalties as they are now,BUT exclusion in all postseason activities, awards and money. No playoffs, probowls, all pro lists.
    Why should anyone who tries to cheat get rewarded at the end of the year.
    This should go for anyone who gets any suspension for drugs, peds, or conduct.
    This will make players think twice before doing somenting that will hurt the team in the postseason.

  9. Millions of dollars are not worth failing health in latter years. NFL should do a better job of educating rather than punishing, but repeat offenders should be banished for their safety.

  10. Should NFL enhance PED penalties?

    Yes. Suspensions should be lengthy, and costly. I wouldn’t mind seeing a whole season ban. Why should a team benefit at all from employing a cheater?

    Teams would start putting opt-out clauses in contracts so essentially the player would be crippled by a failed test.

    This is a billion dollar industry, and there are only 1500 positions available. If you can’t keep one without cheating, you don’t deserve a slice of the pie.

  11. Does it matter what the NFL does?
    No it doesn’t.
    Why? Because the media says so. If the NFL increases PED penalties the NFLPA will fight it tooth & nail but that would never be reported.
    Then when players CHOOSE to use PEDs and get busted, the media will blame the NFL.
    So nothing changes.

  12. “There should be more defined terms than throwing a PED blanket over everything.”

    About six years ago I was in the Colts’ locker room. The room set aside for the trainers had a few posters up, regarding the drug policy. Under anabolics they had seventy-six items listed. Twenty-seven masking agents made up the second section, along with eleven stimulants in their own block. I’m not sure how much more definition you’re looking for here.

    There was also a second poster mentioned the Sports Nutrition Label Certification Program, which sounds like the NFL and the NFLPA has an approved list of supplements. Given both parties signing their name to the information, and how the drug testing process is pretty well independent from either the NFL and the NFLPA, I’m guessing anything on the Program list is pretty clean.

  13. I don’t care about PEDs in pro sports. Honestly, with the crap they put their body through I think they should be allowed PEDs to aid with recovery. I would be willing to bet money that 1/2 the league is on some kind of banned substance. How many 5’10, 220lbs guys with 7% body fat do you see walking around in an average day? I mean come on

  14. Lifetime suspension for first PED bust.

    You think that may make players not think cheating to gain a performance edge is worth the risk?

    It would end the “Patriots Dynasty” tomorrow if done.

  15. Adderall is a PED, benadryl is a PED, any type of antihistamines is a PED. You can go to any GNC store and buy an over the counter bottle and chances are it’s a PED.

  16. Why do some of you assume some players take PEDs to cheat? Perhaps they want their hurt body to just heal faster, so they can get back on the field. Does suspending them for a year really make sense? Seems harsh! This sounds a lot like the medical marijuana debate from 20 years ago. There are some practical uses that don’t give players an advantage.

  17. Should HGH, which is used for healing, be in the same category as stimulants and steroids? They work differently and, supposedly, HGH doesn’t give you a benefit at the price of your health like steroids and stimulants do. Just talking about” PEDs,” as if they’re all the same, doesn’t help a reasoned discussion.

  18. Add this to the list of rule changes because the Patriots won another SB. Its really pathetic that 31 other franchises can’t just stop them on the field as opposed to complaining.

  19. Until the NFL stops cheating the teams nothing more drastic will come of these PED punishments. From the ‘uncapped’ salary cap years to picking and choosing what to call tampering and all the inconsistent punishments and fines that go along with it.

    Where are the PSI results from the NFLs own measurements all season long? I mean how pathetic. Yet half the country still believes Tom Brady is ordering ball boys to release air out of footballs during games after inspection. I worry for us, lol

  20. Marijuana is under the substance abuse policy. A Marijuana suspension is not a PED suspension, it is a substance abuse suspension.

    Also, cold medicine and things you can buy at GNC are not on the PED list. Thanks for the falsehoods as always though Patriots fans.👍

  21. You think that may make players not think cheating to gain a performance edge is worth the risk?

    It would end the “Patriots Dynasty” tomorrow if done.
    You wish it would be so easy.
    And of course there were no players on any of the 31 teams ever suspended for PED, right?

  22. People have the misconception that PED is steroids but in reality the NFL PED is a list of products you can go to your local pharmacy and pick it up without a prescription Players need to be careful what they take NFL needs to do a better job on handling it and fans need to stop jumping the gun when a player fails a PED test

  23. Yes, MLB implemented the playoff ban after several players suspended for their involvement in the biogenesis scandal were able to play in the playoffs. The union for baseball players supported the ban, but would the NFLPA?

  24. The drug suspensions in the NFL are already confusing. They are that way for a reason. The NFL does. It care it only cares about public perception. Because of their lack of applying any real logic to issues, they have created a situation where those in charge of upholding the credibility of the shield have no real credibility. Creating a stiffer penalty will hurt the credibility of the league more because they will of course falsely accuse someone or bungle a test or choose someone’s fate because they like or do t like them.

  25. I’m a Patriots fan but totally see why Julian Edelman was used here as a prime example for changing league policy — as the first and only player in the NFL ever suspended 4 games for PED use, the outrage over Edelman being allowed to play is indeed understandable.

  26. He came back fresh. I could not have drawn up a better scenario for the Patriots if I tried. It’s like opening a savings account. He saved his energy for 4 games so it would be available for the 4 game postseason.

    As for banned substances, I think the issue is more complicated than that. But I have known a couple people who tested positive for methamphetamines after taking a lot of Sudafed. This is not the precision science we want to believe it is.

  27. Heck no. These guys put their bodies through the ringer week in and week out. They should be allowed to take whatever helps them recover. I’d much rather they take HGH, a supplement or smoke weed, than pop painkillers everyday.

  28. Haters are going to hate. They tout the healing properties of weed yet jump on Gordon. If Edelman would have got suspended for weed they would be saying the same thing. He was suspended before facing any competition to have an unfair advantage against. Bitter orange, ever hear of it? Neither have I, but its a banned substance. Weed used to be classified as a PED, wonder why that was.

  29. Brett Favre said he was hooked on painkillers, seems odd to me that he also holds the record for most games never missed. I wonder what unfair advantage he had, seeing that he took them “during” the season.

  30. We never did find out what Edelman took to be suspended…But that’s the NFL…They just never figure anything out, so instead they just overreact!

  31. It’s all about the $$$. During the home-run derby days, MLB was rolling in cash and gladly looked the other way. Along came BALCO and they couldn’t look away any longer. And it hit them in the pocketbook. One might argue they over-reacted, but they had to win fans back. I don’t expect much change to pass the Players Union until it dramatically affects the bottom line.

  32. I don’t get why legal substances are against the rules in the first place. If everyone is allowed to take whatever the law allows, then it’s fair to all and nobody has an unfair advantage.

  33. mikespillane337 says:
    June 27, 2019 at 9:31 am
    Haters are going to hate. They tout the healing properties of weed yet jump on Gordon. If Edelman would have got suspended for weed they would be saying the same thing. He was suspended before facing any competition to have an unfair advantage against. Bitter orange, ever hear of it? Neither have I, but its a banned substance. Weed used to be classified as a PED, wonder why that was.
    As soon as you used the juvenile line “haters are going to hate” you lost all credibility in your comment. Kids don’t say that anymore old man river.

  34. Like someone else said, Von Miller served a PED suspension, and played in SB48. Why no call for changing the rules, then?

  35. we will probably be revisiting this topic after Ben Watson wins Super Bowl MVP this year!!!
    #7 BABY!!!

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