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A case for Josh
July 29, 2014 - Mike McLain
CLEVELAND -- The lawyer hired by Browns receiver Josh Gordon to handle his appeal for a violation of the NFL's drug policy could have a weapon at his disposal.
Maurice Suh, who successfully appealed a suspension given to Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, will likely use the NFL's strange manner of detecting a violation in his appeal for marijuana use. According to Mike Florio of "profootballtalk," the league splits a urine test into two samples -- Bottle A and Bottle B. If Bottle A tests positive beyond a limit of 15 nanograms/ml, all Bottle B has to do is show a trace of the drug to confirm Bottle A's result.
Bottle A in Gordon's test was barely above the limit, while Bottle B's reading was slightly below the limit. If Bottle B had been used instead of Bottle A as the test for disciplinary action, Gordon wouldn't have been suspended.
Instead, he now faces a possible one-year suspension if Friday's appeal to the NFL fails. Gordon is in Stage Three of the NFL's drug prevention program. He received a two-game suspension last year for the use of codeine.
Another twist is that Adam Schefter of "ESPN" is reporting that Suh will claim the positive sample is so small that it's the result of second-hand smoke.
Gordon's case is interesting in that the ruling on the appeal will come less than two weeks after Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice received a mere two-game slap on the wrist for physically abusing his fiancee. The abuse was captured on camera. It would seem inconsistent to give such a short suspension for physical abuse compared to banning a player for an entire year for violating the drug policy because of marijuana use.
Gordon didn't help his case when he was arrested last month for DWI in North Carolina. He entered a rehabilitation center shortly thereafter and spent two weeks in a treatment program.
Stage Three players can be tested up to 10 times per month. Profootballtalk's reported that Gordon has passed 70 tests.
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