Updated NFL Drug Policy

Gunther Spore ’16

The NFL drug policy has been a topic of much debate this past year. Many noticeable players have been suspended from play the last few years including Robert Mathis, Dwayne Bowe, Wes Welker, Matt Prater, and Josh Gordon. But on September 17th The NFL released its new drug policy.

The new policy changes the threshold for positive marijuana tests from 15 ng/ml to 35 ng/ml, as well as the duration of the punishment. A two game fine results for the first offense, a four game fine for a second offense, a four game suspension for a third offense, and a ten game suspension for a fourth offense.

Another change in the policy is the appeals process. Many players did not like the commissioner serving as the lone judge so the NFLPA pushed for a third party instead of the commissioner. Also, the appeals process has been redesigned to work faster. DUI violations have become stricter, before, first time violations were let off without a suspension. Now, first time violations are punished with a two game suspension and a second violation is a eight game suspension.

The last change in the new policy is the PED discipline. First time offenders receive a four game suspension and any attempt to cover up a test is a six game suspension. The new tests will also include testing for HGH which previously has not been tested for.

All of these changes are designed to be more fair to the players; this can already be seen in the case of start Cleveland receiver, Josh Gordon whose season long suspension has been reduced to ten games. Additionally, Wes Welker and Orlando Scandrick’s suspensions have been completely overturned and are returning to play immediately.