Browns Josh Gordon’s Suspension For Entire Season Upheld
An arbitrator upheld the suspension for another failed marijuana test by the talented but troubled player. Gordon’s suspension is effective immediately, and the league said in its statement that his “eligibility for reinstatement will be determined following the 2014 season.”
Gordon, 23, remains under the care of medical professionals in the NFL treatment program, which includes counseling and rehab, if necessary. He also remains subject to random testing. However, Gordon is not allowed to practice with the Browns, attend team meetings or other club functions.
“I’d like to apologize to my teammates, coaches, the Cleveland Browns organization and our fans,” Gordon said in a statement released by the NFL Players Association. “I am very disappointed that the NFL and its hearing office didn’t exercise better discretion and judgment in my case. I would like to sincerely thank the people who have been incredibly supportive of me during this challenging time, including my family, my agent, my union, my legal team, and the Cleveland Browns staff.”
Gordon served a two-game suspension for a drug violation last season, but still led the league in yards receiving and emerged as one of the game’s top players.
Browns general manager Ray Farmer said in a statement: “While we may have strong feelings on the timing and the process of this decision, we have also consistently communicated that we will focus on what we can control in our day to day approach. Right now that is preparing our team for the 2014 season and at the same time, supporting Josh however we are able under NFL guidelines during his suspension.”
Gordon fought the suspension, hiring attorney Maurice Suh to represent him at the appeal hearing. Suh, who had successfully gotten a suspension reduced for Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman, argued that Gordon tested positive for marijuana from secondhand smoke, sources told ESPN. Gordon’s representatives also said test results of his samples were inconsistent and should be thrown out.
Gordn set the Browns’ single-season franchise record with a league-leading 1,646 receiving yards last year despite the two-game suspension. It was his second known violation, but Gordon said he had inadvertently taken codeine contained in prescription cough syrup.