NFL substance abuse issues challenge guidelines

Vidal Maldonado, Reporter

The National Football League’s substance abuse policy has been around for quite a while with players understanding the boundaries that are set to protect the NFL’s image and team dignity.On August 2nd NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell handed Denver Broncos wide out Wes Welker a four game suspension after testing positive for (performance Enhancing Drugs) which Many suspect of him using the amphetamine MDMA which is also known as Ecstasy, or Molly, while attending the Kentucky Derby a few weeks ago.

This four game sentence has been deemed unfair by many, because of the recent one year suspension of Cleveland Browns wide out Josh Gordon for testing positive for marijuana, along with the controversial two game suspension of Baltimore Ravens Running back Ray Rice for domestic violence towards his wife.

In the midst of these allegations, Welker has made it clear that there is a fault somewhere in the NFL’s drug testing system when he stated. “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 still denies allegations of taking the drug molly in an interview he said. “I wouldn’t have any idea where to get a Molly or what a Molly is,” Welker said. “That’s a joke. I don’t do marijuana, I don’t do drugs. I don’t do any drugs.”

Cleveland Browns Wide receiver Josh Gordon is to make a decision soon on whether he is going to sue the league for his “unfair punishment” of his one year suspension from the league after testing positive for low amounts of THC which is found in Marijuana, However if his appeals are to make any changes to the leagues substance abuse policy, none will be made until next years off-season, which means he still will not be able to play this years upcoming football season.

Commissioner Roger Goodell has stated the reason behind Gordons one year ban from the league when he said “We have a drug program that is collectively bargained and it has a step by step process. It takes four incidents before you actually reach a suspension in a drug-related case. You have to respond to facts here.”

However Recent discussions between the NFL and their officials will decide if they will or will not change some regulations in their drug testing procedures, these changes will include a higher threshold to testing positive for marijuana, a shift from amphetamines from the performance-enhancing drugs policy to the substance abuse policy, and increased penalties/punishments for DUI’s.

Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine has expressed his thoughts on Gordon and stated he will not cut him from the team.

Gordon led the league last year with 1,646 receiving yards, he averaged 18.9 yards per catch with a 95 yard long for the season finishing with eights touchdowns. Broncos receiver Wes Welker is among top five in receiving yards even though he was injured last season for three games and racked up ten touchdowns, Welker is among the most talented slot receivers in the NFL. Broncos head coach coach John Fox is disappointed in the suspension but is assured that Welker will do whatever he can to remain in great physical and mental shape for his week five return against the Arizona Cardinals. “I have no doubt that Wes will remain focused on his preparations for the season and stay in excellent shape during his time away from the team.”