PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The NFL and the NFL Players Association have reached an agreement on Wednesday to improve their policy on performance enhancing drugs. Changes include the use of third-party arbitration appeals of positive tests and implementation of testing for human growth hormone within the next few weeks.
As a result of the new policy, Denver Broncos receiver Wes Welker, Dallas Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick, and St. Louis Rams receiver Stedman Bailey are now eligible for week three. All three players had received four-game suspensions for testing positive for substances that now will be covered under the substance abuse policy.
Additionally, the two parties are near agreement on changes to the substance abuse policy, which will be announced when it is completed.
Some key revisions to the policy on PEDs, per NFL-NFLPAY statement, include:
- Discipline for violations of the performance enhancing drug policy (including for HGH) will be modified.
- A first violation will result in a suspension without pay of up to six games depending on the nature of the violation. Use of a diuretic or masking agent will result in a suspension without pay of two games. Use of a steroid, stimulant, HGH or other banned substance will result in a suspension without pay of four games. Evidence of an attempt to manipulate a test will result in a suspension without pay of six games.
- A second violation of the steroid policy will result in a suspension without pay of 10 games. A third violation will result in banishment for a minimum of two years.
- Players who test positive for banned stimulants in the off-season will no longer be suspended. Instead, the player will be referred to the substance abuse program. Players who test positive for banned stimulants during the season will continue to be suspended without pay for four games.
Read the full statement here.
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