After about 24 days of thinking about it, possibly because they wanted to dick him over more by taking away his 2015 preseason, the NFL and its arbitrator upheld the year long suspension for Josh Gordon for failing his third drug test. Previously, Gordon had tested positive for codeine, even though he had a prescription for that kind of cough medicine, and marijuana. This time, he was popped again for weed.
I’m not going to shed too many tears for Josh Gordon. While I think it’s stupid that an athlete can be suspended for a non-performance enhancing, not very bad substance is stupid, I also hate intoxicated driving of any kind, and Gordon couldn’t keep himself from getting a DUI while awaiting the punishment for his third failed test. That’s not the kind of guy that I’ll cry for. Do what you want in your own life, but don’t risk the lives of so many innocent others by driving in that kind of state.
With all that being said, the NFL’s drug testing policy, especially for weed, is beyond stupid. Check out Andrew Sharp’s piece from the end of last month on Grantland about it, where you’ll find a ton of interesting and confusing details. The most important fact is that 2 urine samples are always taken during one of these tests. Whenever the first test is above 15 ng of THC per mL of urine, they look at the second cup. If the second cup has any THC, it’s called a failed test.
Pretty sure this rule makes no sense, and the Gordan case is a perfect example of why. Gordon’s first sample was 16 ng/mL. His second was 13.6. So if they had pulled the second sample first, Gordon would have passed. But even though is second sample is below the threshold of 15 ng/mL, he unfortunately lost the coin flip that involves which cup they test first, so he’s screwed.
So yeah, Josh Gordon was suspended largely in part to the blatant luck of a 50/50 chance. I have no idea if he smoked or if it was secondhand smoke (I’m gonna guess the former), but the dumb fact that the NFL suspends for weed and the dumb way they conduct the test has to be mentioned. I won’t defend a high driver’s judgment or morality, but it sucks that such an asinine set of circumstances means that we won’t get to watch Josh Gordon in 2014.