Tony Grossi and ESPN Cleveland have a report indicating that Joe Haden and his agent attempted an appeal that I suggested just based on common sense. When the rumors swirled that Joe Haden was popped for Adderall in an off-season test, it seemed silly to treat it like a performance-enhancer such as a steroid or growth hormone. Apparently Joe Haden’s counsel agreed.
A league source told ESPN Cleveland that Haden’s argument in his appeal was that his positive test should have been treated as a violation of the league’s policy on substance abuse rather than the policy on anabolic steroids and related substances. A first offender of the substance abuse policy would be admitted to the league’s drug program and not suspended.
All along, it seemed to me while the violation was clearly a stupid mistake on the part of Joe Haden, it never sit right that it was a “performance-enhancing” situation. It seemed that it was clearly a situation of drug or substance abuse more akin to recreational speed use than HGH or ‘roids.
The NFL obviously didn’t flinch on the appeal, but hopefully they revisit their policy going forward, because I think it mis-categorized Joe Haden’s stupid mistake.