The NFL and the NFL Players Association have intensified negotiations to implement HGH testing for the first time in league history in addition to revamping its drug-testing policy, according to ESPN. This could be huge news for Denver Broncos Pro Bowler Wes Welker and Cleveland Browns All-Pro Josh Gordon.
According to Pro Football Talk, the new drug policy could lead to suspensions for both Welker and Gordon being reduced.
One change is that offseason use of amphetamines would move from the performance-enhancing substance policy to the substance-abuse policy. That would mean that Welker would switch from a first-time offender in the PED policy (which carries an automatic four-game suspension) to a first-time offender in the substance-abuse policy (which carries no suspension).
Another change is that the threshold to trigger a positive result on a marijuana test would rise. That would affect Gordon because his positive marijuana test was just barely above the NFL’s current threshold for a positive, which is significantly lower than the threshold for other organizations like the World Anti-Doping Agency.
If the NFL changes its policy and agrees to apply it retroactively to players who tested positive this year, Welker and Gordon would benefit.
Welker will be suspended for the first four games this year after testing positive for a performance enhancing substance.
After failing another drug test, Gordon is set to miss the entire 2014 NFL season.
It looks as though Welker could be back on the field sooner than expected, while Gordon could actually be on an NFL field after it appeared his season was guaranteed to be lost.
Despite being suspended in 2013 for two games for his first violation of the NFL's Substance Abuse Policy, Gordon led the NFL with 1,646 receiving yards and became the first player in NFL history with consecutive 200-yard receiving games.