By NICHOLAS BRUENS
The National Football League has outlawed the performance enhancing drug (PED) use among players for many years. The league also, however, provides an approved list of supplements that players can take. To our surprise, it seems that players aren’t even safe when it comes to these approved supplements.
Lane Johnson is the starting right tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles and is now serving a 10-game suspension. Prior to the season start Johnson tested positive for a banned substance. The interesting part is that Johnson claims it was something in an approved NFL supplement which caused the positive test.
Johnson told Jay Glaser of Fox Sports that he took an amino acid approved by the NFL which caused the positive test.
This provided an difficult decision for the NFL. They do state players should take the substance at their own risk and they still may contain substances that are banned. But they also should consider how misleading that is. They ultimately decided to carry out their initial decision of a 10-game suspension as this has been Johnson’s second run with he PED code.
The news media have covered this story for weeks due to its long timeline. Johnson tested positive prior to the season and has only been officially suspended in the sixth week. During that time it has been a constant stream of stories making if he finally be suspend this week.
The NFL’s drug policy has also come into question by the news media. Questions have been raised as to whether an approved list should exist if the players may not be allowed to take the drugs on the list.
Overall, the news media has found that Johnson’s case and suspension will serve as a precedent and scare players from taking any supplement that may or may not cause them to potentially fail drug tests.
Lane Johnson’s attorney has expressed dissatisfaction regarding the NFL’s decision.
“We are disappointed with Arbitrator James Carter’s summary ruling,” Steve Zashin, Johnson’s attorney, wrote in the statement obtained by NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. “We will wait for his formal written opinion. After we review that decision, we will consider all available legal options.”