NFL Should Reduce Josh Gordon Suspension Based On Testing Flaw, Ray Rice

By Andrew Fisher
Cleveland Browns: Josh Gordon Suspension Would Not Sink Playoff Chances
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Gordon has made some bad decisions so far in his NFL career. Those decisions have him on the verge of a year-long suspension. Gordon is set to appeal his year-long ban this Friday, and it appears that he may have a solid argument to make after all.

A new report from PFT has shed light on the NFL’s drug testing program, and on how a technicality has essentially doomed Gordon in 2014. From PFT:

“Urine samples routinely are split into two bottles, the ‘A’ bottle and the ‘B’ bottle.  If the ‘A’ bottle generates a positive result, the ‘B’ bottle is tested.  Amazingly, the ‘B’ bottle doesn’t have to independently show a violation.  Instead, the substance abuse policy states that the “‘B’ bottle test need only show that the substance, revealed in the ‘A’ bottle Test, is evident to the ‘limits of detection’ to confirm the results of the ‘A’ bottle Test.”

Gordon’s ‘A’ bottle showed a concentration of 16 ng/ml, while his ‘B’ bottle showed a concentration of only 13.6 ng/ml. The limit is 15 ng/ml, meaning that if his ‘B’ sample had been labeled as sample ‘A’ (which could have easily happened), he would have never failed a drug test.

In addition, it’s being reported by PFT that Gordon passed at least 70 drug tests prior to this latest fail. This is why part of his argument may be that the positive sample (because it was such a low amount) occurred because of secondhand smoke.

When it’s all said and done, Gordon is going to sit out a good portion of 2014. I believe the NFL should reduce his suspension in light of these details, and for the fact that they just gave Ray Rice a two-game ban for domestic violence issues. However, the NFL doesn’t seem to worried about the negative response to Rice’s suspension.

Gordon has made multiple mistakes and he should have to pay for them. No one is saying that he shouldn’t be punished. But to say that a guy who barely failed a second drug test deserves to be suspended 14 games longer than someone who likely socked their girlfriend in the face, is just plain wrong.

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