BEREA, Ohio — Josh Gordon’s tangled ordeal, full of legal twists and turns, has finally been straightened out.
Cleveland’s star wide receiver was reinstated into the NFL and had his one-year suspension reduced to 10 games Friday after the league announced changes to its drug policy. The decision ends months of personal torment for the Pro Bowler, who had been banned for repeated drug violations.
“I’m happy that the NFLPA and NFL worked hard to agree on a new Substances of Abuse policy,” Gordon said in a statement. “I’m very thankful to my union for fighting for a significant reduction in my suspension. I’m glad I can go to the facility during my suspension. I look forward to going to meetings, working out individually, and learning from my coaches and teammates. I can’t wait until game 11 to get back on the field!”
Gordon spent training camp with the team and played in some exhibition games as his case remained in limbo while he and the Browns waited for the league to rule. Gordon didn’t speak to reporters for months and only recently disclosed in an interview that he was depressed.
Now, there’s some closure, and it may have saved Gordon’s career.
Along with Gordon, free agent LaVon Brazill also had his suspension lessened to 10 games.
Under the new provisions, Gordon will be allowed to work out and attend team meetings at the Browns’ facility. Before the changes, Gordon was only permitted to meet with his clinician at team’s headquarters.
The NFL’s new policy on substance abuse includes two additional disciplinary stages for marijuana positives. A first violation will result in referral to the substance abuse program, which has always been the case.
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.
In addition, the threshold for a positive marijuana test will be raised from 15 nanograms per milliliter to 35 ng/ml, reflecting recent actions taken by other testing organizations.
Photo via Andrew Weber/USA TODAY Sports Images
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