Facing a potential year-long suspension from the NFL after testing positive for marijuana, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has a plan to plead his case.
Judging by recent comments, it appears the NFL is having none of Gordon’s plan.
Gordon’s legal team will argue at a hearing Friday that the Browns wideout tested positive as a result of second-hand smoke. In an email to ESPN on Tuesday, NFL senior vice president of communications Greg Aiello warned that, if true, such a scenario is hardly an excuse.
“A cornerstone of both of our drug testing programs has always been that you are responsible for what is in your body,” Aiello said. “It is stated that way in the policies.”
Aiello added that several players have been suspended as a result of not knowing what was in their bodies, including Gordon himself, who was banned for two games a year ago for testing positive for codeine that was supposedly in his cough medicine.
In Friday’s appeal, Gordon plans to argue that there was a disparity between the two samples he presented to the league, and he might have a better case in that vein. Gordon’s “A” sample tested at 16 nanograms per milliliter, while his “B” sample tested at just 13.63 ng/ml. The NFL’s threshold is 15 ng/ml.
The 23-year-old hasn’t exactly been a model citizen in the weeks leading up to his hearing. Gordon was arrested for DWI in North Carolina in early July and was also caught speeding while his passenger was in possession of marijuana back in May.