Would NFLPA allow for more transparency with failed drug tests?

The NFL would like more transparency when it comes to the drug policy.

Just the facts.

As the policy stands now, the league is prohibited from releasing any information after a player fails a drug test. As Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe notes, it’s possibly – POSSIBLY – led to a spike in positive tests for Adderall.

There were some high-profile suspensions allegedly tied to the drug last season. Cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Brandon Browner served four-game suspensions. Another cornerback, Richard Sherman, won an appeal that was reportedly for Adderall.

It is a drug that is used, with a prescription, to treat ADHD. Some have suggested it is used as a party drug as well. If a player is taking a rap for a four-game suspension, it would sound better to test positive for that than say steroids. The league lumps Adderall in with other performance-enhancing drugs. So, players who test positive can release any information they want about failed drug tests.

“One of the features of the (Major League Baseball) appeals system that we have proposed from the beginning has been to be able to disclose the substance that formed the basis of the violation,” said Adolpho Birch, the NFL’s senior vice president of law and labor policy, according to the report.

“It is largely for that point, to make sure that everybody is clear on what that substance was so that there is no misinformation, and ability to go behind and sort of minimize what the nature of an individual’s violation is.

“We think that’s very important, not only for accuracy but also to help other players understand the real types of substances that potentially could lead to a positive result. And so we think from an educational standpoint, it’s important that everyone understands exactly what substances were involved.”

The NFLPA might not ever go for that. We’ll see if any advancements are made. It would be nice to have a little more clarity in such matters.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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