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New Drug Program Could Mean Reduced Suspensions

The NFL and NFLPA have been working on an upgraded drug policy for years. What's that mean for currently suspended players?

Joe Skipper

The negotiations between the NFL and NFLPA regarding HGH testing have drug on much longer than they should have. However, there seems to be an end in sight as the two sides seem to be close to an agreement regarding the matter.

Shefty's info is slight amiss though, because the NFLPA refused to vote Thursday night due to games being played. is reporting that a NFLPA vote could come today.

It has been well documented that the changes could mean reduces suspensions for certain NFL players, most notably Wes Welker (amphetamines) and Josh Gordon (marijuana).

I won't get too far into the details, but essentially Welker's violation would be move from the PED policy (where 1st offense is 4 game suspension) to the substance abuse policy (where 1st offense doesn't warrant suspension). As for Gordon, his most recent positive test would be invalid because he would be under the new threshold set by the revised drug policy.

The question all of us Rams fans are asking is: What about Stedman Bailey? Unfortunately, Bailey's situation remains unclear. Since the NFL only specifies which policy the player is suspended under, we have no way of knowing if the suspension was because of amphetamines, or something more sinister. There are reports that state Bailey didn't take any PEDs, prompting rumors that the suspension was because of a missed test, and not a positive result.

If it really is a missed test, one would think that the NFLPA would try to collectively bargain the ability to 'make-up' a test within...say 24 hours...of the missed appointment? But there are lawyers out there who get paid much more than I do to figure that out. For us Rams fans, all we can do is wait for the policy to be approved and hope for the best. With luck, we may have Bailey back sooner than expected.