Player representatives for the NFLPA voted to approve a new drug policy on Friday.
The new policy includes a higher threshold for marijuana use (from 15 nanograms per milliliter to 35) and, for the first time in league history, blood testing for human growth hormone.
None of the unions reps reportedly voted against the new policy.
“This is an historic moment for our Players and our League,” said NFLPA President Eric Winston. “We have collectively bargained drug policies that will keep the game clean and safe, but also provide our players with an unprecedented level of fairness and transparency. Players should be proud of their union for standing up for what was best for the game.”
“We stood up and fought for what was right,” said DeMaurice Smith, NFLPA executive director. “Twenty-five years ago it was NFL players that set out to make the game clean by asking for and collectively bargaining the first drug testing policy in professional sports. Today, this union and these player leaders have approved a policy that will serve the game well for generations of players to come.”
Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick and Broncos receiver Wes Welker, both of whom were suspended four games under the old policy, can play on Sunday. Browns receiver Josh Gordon, who had been suspended the entire season for marijuana use, will have to sit out 10 games.
Welker and Scandrick were suspended four games under the old policy for using amphetamines, which previously classified as performance-enhancing drugs. Offseason amphetamine use will now fall under the substance-abuse category, which doesn't stipulate that first-time offenders are suspended from games.
- Chris Johnson