The NFL drug policy update showed approval by almost every player in the field.
It’s been almost three years of dithering. But now the NFL brass as well as its players has decided to vote for an extensive drug policy. The board of representatives has shown immense satisfaction with the latest report down to the last man.
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Only the term sheet needs to be ratified by both sides, and the advocates then need to act on it for the final stamp of approval. The NFLPA President Eric Winston said that it was a historic moment in the annals of the league indeed.
While strictness and accountability with regard to drugs was implemented, at the same time fair play concerning the players was taken into consideration too. He said that the football players ought to be filled with gratitude for this change in rules and regulations.
"This is an historic moment for our Players and our League," Winston said in a statement. "We have collectively bargained drug policies that will keep the game clean and safe, but also provide our players with an unprecedented level of fairness and transparency. Players should be proud of their union for standing up for what was best for the game."
However, things are still in their preliminary stages. Nothing is written in stone yet. Still a few loose ends need to be settled between both parties.
"We have not yet reached an agreement with the union," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in an email. "There continue to be significant unresolved issues."
Among the stuff that will be tested is: human growth hormone, marijuana, alcohol and amphetamines. There were several other clauses in the drug laws laid down by the authorities.
- But first among the principles that got agreed upon was testing for human growth hormone. Anti-doping was what the deal was all about.
- The marijuana levels in the blood that have been labeled as above limits have shifted higher as well. This is because nearly everywhere in the States, marijuana has become legalized. Driving under the influence is strictly off limits and no tolerance will be shown in this regard.
- Furthermore, neutral decision-making will be a welcome step so that no judgmental bias could enter the equation.
- Disciplinary relaxation in view of good behavior was another clause that was agreed upon.
- Finally, independent probes into various cases were allowed so as to satisfy any side which felt that it was being unfairly dealt with.
NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said in a statement, "We stood up and fought for what was right. Twenty-five years ago it was NFL players that set out to make the game clean by asking for and collectively bargaining the first drug testing policy in professional sports. Today, this union and these player leaders have approved a policy that will serve the game well for generations of players to come."
This is all swell and looks good on paper but the day it is fully implemented, there are bound to be loopholes in the laws that will turn up at every corner. And then it will be time for a revision once more!
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