While recreational drugs are off the table, the NFL, under the new bargaining agreement, will begin randomly testing players for performance enhancing drugs on game days.
The league’s senior vice president of law and labor policy, Adolpho Birch, said Tuesday on a conference call with reporters that tests weren’t conducted in the past on days there were games “because of logistical issues involved, much more so than any philosophical issues.” Birch, who oversees the NFL’s drug program, added that the league had developed a way to test that “is not overly disruptive to the clubs and that respects the game-day process.”
Details on this issue have yet to be worked out, but bviously the first question on everyone’s mind is how will this not disrupt the game day process? I am all for making sure players are not abusing drugs that could harm themselves or their opponents, but there is much to consider here.
The simple act of adding an unannounced event to the morning routine on game day will most certainly affect that team’s preparation. At the very least, the only fair thing to do would be to make sure both opposing teams are subject to testing on a given day, and the same number of guys would need to be tested.
But what happens if a player tests positive? One would assume that he would be unable to play, leaving the team scrambling at the last minute to rework their game plan. And what about an appeals process for players claiming a false positive? I can see where the league is coming from with this. They are making the team suffer as much as possible because one (or more) of their own are using PEDs. By instituting this measure, they are hoping that players will think twice about using because it would be that much more of a hardship on their team, who could end up turning on said guilty player.
What do you think? Is it fair for the NFL to create a measure so clearly designed to punish both the player and the team? Is this be an effective way to prevent drug use, or will players still take their chances and continue to use? Or are you only upset because this could screw up your fantasy lineup? Let us know in the comments below.