NFLPA Responds to Johnson’s Criticism
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - A frustrated Lane Johnson lashed out at the NFLPA and the supplement industry as a whole on Saturday after acknowledging his potential 10-game suspension for violating the league's PED policy is likely a fait accompli.
Johnson admitted to reporters what he told his friend and former workout partner, FOX’s Jay Glazer, last week, that he has tested positive on an NFL-administered PED test and is now waiting for the B sample to come back, which could take a couple of weeks.
The ultimate end game, however, does not long good for the high-priced right tackle.
“Every supplement I’ve taken has been approved by Aegis Shield app which the NFLPA gives us,” Johnson said. “Having said that, the NFLPA, they do not test the products so there is no backing from them. That’s all I know right now. I’m waiting on my B sample to some in. That’ll be probably two or three weeks from now.”
Johnson, who claims he bought an amino acid supplement online and tested positive for a peptide that is illegal under the league’s current PED policy, also asserts that the supplement he purchased was declared safe on an app provided to the players by the NFLPA.
He still believes he has done nothing wrong and blamed the Players Association for not backing his cause, as well as the supplement industry in general, which remains unregulated by the federal government.
“Everything that I’ve taken was approved by the Aegis Shield app and that’s the only thing the NFLPA gives us to test our products,” Johnson said. "...I feel the supplement industry is not regulated so you don’t know what’s in it. I know it’s hard to believe coming from a second-time offender. I want to be clear that the NFLPA does not stand up for players. When you call and ask them you’ve tested positive for something they’ve approved it doesn’t matter.”
The NFLPA took exception to Johnson's allegations in a statement released to 973espn.com and other media outlets.
"We always stand up for the rights of our players," the statement read. "Mr. Johnson's statements are factually inaccurate and we have been in touch with both Lane and his agent, who now understand the facts."
The main points from the Players Association's perspective are that the union does not "approve" any supplements and offers a free service to NFL players if they want a supplement tested.
"The NFLPA does not approve any supplements or substances," the statement continued. "Since 2012 and at the request of player leadership, we have had a partnership with Aegis that provides a mobile app as a resource for players to check listed ingredients on a supplement to see if it is on the banned list. We constantly remind all players that even if a supplement is "checked green" the supplement provider may not list certain ingredients therein that a player can test positive for.
"This slide is used at every team meeting to inform players about the Aegis App and other aspects of the drug policies. This same information is distributed to agents as well.
"For several years, the NFLPA has provided a free service to every NFL player who wishes to have us test a supplement they send to us and this service was offered to Lane."
Johnson claims he does want the supplement tested and has handed it off to his lawyer but realizes the horse is already out of the barn.
"A tainted supplement. Still doesn't matter," Johnson said, resigning himself to what now seems inevitable. "I'm still gonna get suspended."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen