NFL's Handling of Richard Sherman Drug Testing Making a Mockery of the System

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IDecember 27, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 01:  Cornerback Richard Sherman #25 of the Seattle Seahawks during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on January 1, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Seahawks 23-20 in overtime.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Richard Sherman may or may not have used PEDs, but thanks to shoddy work by those doing the drug testing for the NFL, we'll never know. 

But that's not where this particular rabbit hole comes to an end. According to the Tacoma News Tribune's Eric Williams:

@rsherman_25 "randomly selected" to take urine test today. “That’s the way it works. You can bet I was paying attention today.”

— Eric Williams (@eric_d_williams) December 27, 2012


First thing's first, here: The NFL loses all credibility by "randomly" selecting Sherman for another drug test. I mean, at least have the balls to come out and say something along the lines of, "In order to ensure we get closure on this matter, we felt it was necessary to retest Sherman."

We know the NFL can't do that, though, because that's not the way the NFLPA and NFL agreed to do the testing...or could they?

Nobody's buying the "random" angle at this point. 

The NFL is mad that Sherman won his appeal due to a technicality. Here's the inside scoop, via the AP, which obtained a copy of former NFL executive Bob Wallace's decision:

According to the written decision, Sherman's sample cup began leaking, to which the tester grabbed another cup and transferred the sample. Documentation of the leaking cup was not originally on the submitted report following the test and only when asked by a supervisor in October did the tester acknowledge the sample being transferred from the original cup.

Wallace wrote the omission of the leaking cup from the report was a 'big deal,'  and that insuring a sample is collected properly is the cornerstone of the program...

If I were in charge of catching athletes who cheated, I'd be pretty upset that Sherman potentially got away with taking PEDs due to the inept actions of one person, so I understand why the league would want to retest Sherman. 

But the process is supposed to be random.

The NFL has once again gone overboard in an attempt to "protect the brand." Roger Goodell did it with "Bountygate" and he's doing it again in an effort to catch an alleged cheater. 

The only problem is that the actions taken to try to "protect the brand" continually smear the brand. Slating Sherman for a "random" drug test on the same day he was acquitted is not only disingenuous, but it's a shameful overreach of power that will only hurt the league. 

Know when you've been beaten. If Sherman cheated, chances are he'll be caught again. His response of, "You can bet I was paying attention today," isn't exactly one an innocent man would logically chose to make, but that's a moot point at this juncture. 

The NFL already had egg on its face, thanks to faulty collection procedures, but what the league has done in response is even worse. 


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