Substance Abuse Policy Finalized, Gordon Ban Reduced To 10 Games

After announcing changes to the league’s PED policy earlier this week, the NFL and NFLPA have issued a joint statement indicating the substance abuse policy has been updated as well. As part of the new policy, Josh Gordon and LaVon Brazill, who is currently playing for the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts, will have their suspensions reduced to 10 games, down from a full year.

Here are the other pertinent updates to the substance abuse policy, per the press release:

  • Two discipline stages will be added for marijuana positives, as follows: a first violation will result in referral to the substance abuse program, as is the case today. Subsequent violations will result in a two-game fine, a four-game fine, a four-game suspension, a 10-game suspension, and one-year banishment. The new stages are the two-game fine and the 10-game suspension. In addition, the threshold for a positive marijuana test will be raised from 15 ng/ml to 35 ng/ml, reflecting recent actions taken by other testing organizations.
  • Discipline for DUI and related offenses will be increased. A first DUI offense, absent aggravating circumstances, will result in a two-game suspension without pay. A second offense will result in a suspension of at least eight games without pay. In either case, a more lengthy suspension may be imposed if there are aggravating circumstances.
  • Appeals of positive tests in both the substance abuse and performance enhancing drug programs (including HGH) will be heard by third-party arbitrators jointly selected appointed and retained by the NFL and NFLPA. Appeals will be processed more expeditiously under uniform rules and procedures.
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