NFL widens tests for performance enhancing drugs

The National Football League after months of negotiation with the players union announced that they will expand the drug testing program for its players.  Key points to the new program.

  1. Testing used to be only in the preseason and for recreational drugs and steroids.  Now, they will test for EPO as well.
  2. Players suspended after testing positive will, for the first time, forfeit a portion of their signing bonuses in addition to the salary.  The only guaranteed part of a player’s salary is the signing bonus
  3. Ten players will be randomly tested each week from a roster of about 45 players
  4. The NFL policy mandates a four-game suspension for a first steroids offense and a year for a second.
  5. For recreational drugs such as marijuana or cocaine there is no suspension for a first positive test.  The player is given counseling.
  6. The program also includes additional use of carbon isotope ratio testing on a random basis to detect for doses of testosterone. The isotope test was previously used only to validate a positive test.

It’s a start.

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