Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon's appeal of a potential year-long suspension for a failed drug test is set for Friday. Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com reports Gordon's appeal will focus primarily on the drug testing process itself.
Florio described Gordon's planned argument in the appeal.
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.
For Gordon, the “A” bottle showed a concentration of 16 ng/ml, only one nanogram per milliliter above the limits of 15. The “B” bottle showed a concentration of 13.6 ng/ml — less than the threshold.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports Gordon's legal team will argue that the differing results mean the NFL can't be sure Gordon truly tested positive, and that the positive indicators were the result of second-hand smoke. The NFL has said it doesn't intend to discipline players for second-hand smoke.
According to Florio's report, Gordon entered Stage III of the NFL's drug testing program last season after serving a two-game suspension for using cough syrup that contained codeine. Stage III requires players to pass up to 10 drug tests a month, and Gordon reportedly passed at least 70 drug tests before failing one in May.
Gordon caught 87 passes for 1,646 yards, best in the NFL, and nine touchdowns in 14 games last season. He made the Pro Bowl and the AP All-Pro first team.
- Alex Hampl