Tougher Penalties For Drugs...

Angry Pope

All Raider
Feb 2, 2006
Reaction score
Beginning in 2007...

NFL to toughen sanctions in '07

Players who use meth, amphetamines targeted

Jim Trotter

June 27, 2006

CARLSBAD – NFL players who test positive for amphetamines and methamphetamines will face harsher penalties beginning in 2007, representatives for the league and the Players Association said yesterday at the annual Rookie Symposium, at the La Costa Resort and Spa.

Once the new guidelines take effect, players will face a four-game suspension without pay for a first-time offense; an eight-game suspension without pay for a second positive test; and a one-year suspension without pay for a third offense. Players have the right to appeal test results.

The discipline is significantly harsher than in the past, when players had to test positive three times before being faced with suspension. Back then, the impermissible use of amphetamines and methamphetamines fell under the league's drug policy, which is more lenient than the sanctions outlined in its steroids policy – which now includes amphetamines and methamphetamines.

Harold Henderson, the NFL's executive vice president-labor relations, said the harsher guidelines will take effect next year so that players have a chance to adjust to the changes.

“Frankly, we didn't see amphetamines and methamphetamines as a big issue, as a big problem in the league,” he said. “ . . . But we've now come to learn that at least in other sports – and maybe in our sport, too – people believe that it's a performance-enhancer, so it was more the health concern that really drove us to reach an agreement with the union to make a change.

“I think it's a matter of health concern because people understand now that taking these amphetamines and being exposed to physical stresses and combinations with other medications and things like that could be very dangerous and even deadly.”

Amphetamines are known to stimulate the central nervous system. According to one medical Web site, they can increase energy and alertness and a sense of well-being, but they also can be addictive and produce side effects that include irregular heartbeat, restlessness, chest pain, shakiness, sweating, anxiety, headache and blurred vision.

Under the league's steroids policy, players can be tested year-round for amphetamines. That was not the case with the drug policy, under which testing was limited to roughly a four-month window, April 14 to Aug. 9.

Players who test positive for amphetamines this year will be subject to frequent and random tests throughout the year. If they test positive a second time, they would fall under the steroids policy and face a four-game suspension.

“A secondary offense used to be a six-week suspension and now is an eight-week suspension – a half season,” Henderson said. “The number of multiple violators historically has been very, very low. Most years, zero. But it's still important to send a message that we are very serious about this.”
This thread has been closed due to inactivity. You can create a new thread to discuss this topic.