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Daryl Washington suspension not for positive drug test

His suspension was related to other behavior.


While many believed that linebacker Daryl Washington was suspended under the NFL's substance abuse policy because of multiple failed drug tests, apparently this was not the case. Pro Football Talk reported a few days ago that "Washington did not trigger a four-game suspension via three positive tests."

Based on what they were able to surmount, "there was an initial positive test that was the result of a genuine mistake, followed by two additional violations unrelated to a positive test."

So he did test positive at some point. After that, he committed a violation while in Stage 1 that moved him to Stage 2 and then recently violated something k

With a look at the substance abuse policy, if he had in fact had a positive test to put him in Stage 1, this is the rule:

A player who is referred to Stage One by reason of a Positive Test, and who, upon evaluation in Stage One is deemed by the Medical Director not to require specific clinical intervention and/or treatment will advance to Stage Two upon notification to the player by the Medical Director, and will be subject to Stage Two Testing by the Medical Advisor but will not have a Treatment Plan. However, a player who is referred to Stage One by reason of a Positive Test and is deemed by the Medical Director to require specific clinical intervention and/or treatment, will be advanced to Stage Two upon notification to the player by the Medical Director.

He was moved up to Stage Two, so this is how the policy reads after that:

A player in Stage Two who fails to comply with his Treatment Plan or fails to cooperate with testing, treatment, evaluation or other requirements imposed on him by this Policy, both as determined by the Medical Director, or has a Positive Test wil be subject to:
(a) A fine of four-seventeenths (4/17) of the amount in Paragraph 5 of the NFL Player Contract if the player has successfully completed Stage One; and
(b) A suspension for the period of time to cover four consecutive regular season and post.season (including Pro Bowl, if selected) games without pay.

It is apparent that if it was not a positive test, then Washington was simply lax in following the instructions he was given. Maybe they were excessive, but that is no excuse when your career and livelihood is on the line.

By all accounts, if the team is not concerned and is not going to cut ties with him. That is good. If that is the case, then fans ought not worry. However, what is a bit troubling is not the fact that he has had a positive test, but that knowing what he has to do he has had multiple oversights.

That makes me a little uneasy. I'm sure that with the threat of losing a year of his career, he will be more vigilant. He needs to, the team needs him and the fans are counting on him.

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