The NFL and NFLPA Have Agreed on a New Drug Policy
The NFL and its union, have announced an agreement on improving its PED policy and testing.
The "improvements" to the PED policy include testing for human growth hormone, and neutral arbitration for appeals. The testing for HGH in the NFL was originally agreed upon in 2011 but never implemented, as the players and the union had concerns about how tests would be administered, and the appeals process for positive tests. Testing for HGH in the NFL will start by the end of this month.
The changes to the policy will also allow the return of Denver Broncos receiver Wes Welker, Dallas Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick and St. Louis Rams receiver Stedman Bailey, who are now eligible to return.
The NFL and NFLPA are also near agreement on changes to the substance abuse policy, which will be announced when it is completed.
Here is a list of the new changes, to the NFL's PED Policy:
• A first violation of the PED policy will result in a suspension without pay for up to six games depending on violation
• Appeals of positive tests under the PED policy, including HGH, will be heard by a third-party arbitrator that will be jointly chosen by league and union officials
• Positive tests for diuretics or masking agents will result in a two-game ban;
• Positive tests for a steroid, stimulant or HGH will result in a four-game ban.
• Evidence that an attempt was made to manipulate a test result will result in a six-game suspension.
• Players will receive a 10-game suspension for a second violation of the policy while a third positive test will result in a suspension of at least two years.
• Positive tests for banned stimulants in the offseason will no longer result in suspensions. In these cases, players will be referred to the substance abuse program. Positive test for stimulants during the season will be considered a violation of the PED policy and result in a four-game ban.
• A neutral third party will hear appeals of PED violations, and commissioner Roger Goodell will retain his authority under the personal conduct policy. Appeals of punishment under the personal conduct policy will be heard by a member of the CBA Appeals Panel.