There’s a lot to get to, so I’m just going to list out the main points:
Oct 14, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) intercepts the ball from intended for New England Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch (84) during the 2nd half at CenturyLink Field. Seattle defeated New England 24-23. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE
1) Both players WILL play this week. They are appealing the results of the test, and thus suspensions will not begin until the appeals ruling is given. The league said today that the hearings for both players will happen next week, so both players will be out there on the field when the Seahawks take on the Bears.
2) The Adderall reports cannot be confirmed, and wont be. The NFL is not allowed to say what substance showed up on the test. Doing so, would be a major violation of the collective bargaining agreement. The report appears to have started as speculation and was picked up other media outlets.
The only way we ever learn what substance a player tested positive for, is if the player or his agent divulges that info. Unfortunately, this often leads to misinformation. A player can test positive for some nasty anabolic steroid, and then tell the media and the fans that it’s something innocuous like Adderall because the league cannot, and will not, refute that report.
That is why Adderall has become the old “tainted GNC supplement” that all players claim to be what they tested positive for.
3) Both players aren’t taking that road though. Both have said that they have never taken anything and they believe that there has been some break in the testing protocol that has lead to both of them failing tests at the same time. Both have been very clear in their assertion that they are innocent.
4) That said, it will be very difficult for the players to win this appeal. The league has a positive test, it’s up to the players to show that there is a problem with that test. That is no easy task.
John Clayton says there’s a 95% chance the appeal with fail. Unfortunately, this is the case even if they are telling the truth and are innocent.
They said they would like to take a polygraph to show that they are telling the truth. That can’t hurt, but even a favorable result might not effect the results of the appeal. All it would show was that they didn’t knowingly taking anything, but it doesn’t show that they didn’t take something accidentally, or that someone didn’t “slip them something.” Even if they didn’t knowingly take anything, the test still says that they had the substance in their system, and that’s all that matters.
Basically, its an uphill climb for the players to win this appeal, no matter how innocent they are.