Ordinarily, the NFL can’t say much about a player’s PED violation. The ordinary procedure goes out the window, however, when the player or his agent take liberties with reality.
“[T]he Management Council may publicly disclose information relating to the discipline of a Player to correct inaccurate public claims made by that Player or his representatives about the discipline,” the PED policy states.
In this case, the excuse provided by Quinn’s agent may result in the league exercising its right to push back.
Consider the basic facts. Quinn tested positive for a masking agent. He appealed. As of 2013, all appeals of positive PED tests go to an independent arbitrator, hired by the NFL and NFL Players Association. Quinn had a chance to make a case against the standard two-game suspension arising from a positive test for a masking agent. The independent arbitrator upheld the suspension, rejecting all factual and legal arguments presented by Quinn.
It’s not surprising that, having lost in the NFL’s court of law, Quinn now hopes to win in the court of public opinion. Indeed, when has a player who failed a PED test ever said, “You caught me”? Most if not all players have an explanation that sounds plausible. If they’re all telling the truth, the truth is that the PED policy rarely if ever actually catches a cheater.
Here, Quinn contends that his seizure pills were contaminated by the pharmacy where the prescription was filled, and that his expert witness made a compelling case to that end. It wasn’t compelling enough to get the independent arbitrator to agree, however.
The broader question is whether anything said by Quinn’s agent was inaccurate enough to get the league to take advantage of its power under the PED policy to publicly call BS. If the league can show that the argument isn’t accurate, it should.