Broncos all-pro linebacker Von Miller faces a four-game suspension for violation of the league's drug policy. Except: it might be for a test he failed two years ago?
ESPN first reported the existence of the looming supension, and that Miller is appealing it. The Denver Post adds that Miller failed tests for amphetamines and marijuana in his 2011 rookie season. But the Post uses wording that doesn't connect those failed tests to this suspension. So what happened?
The NFL's substance abuse policy is convoluted—a player who tests positive for a recreational drug enters a multi-tiered "intervention stage," with increased testing and a suspension coming down only after further positives. So Miller would have needed to get caught smoking weed again beyond his 2011 test.
But in 2007, the NFL reclassified amphetamines—previously recreational—as performance-enhancing drugs, meaning a single failed test is grounds for an immediate suspension. Either Miller successfully appealed his 2011 positive, or that original appeal is still ongoing. The wheels of NFL justice turn slowly, and on rare occasions quietly, but it'd be something remarkable if Miller is only now facing punishment for a drug test from two years ago.
It's entirely possible that this suspension is unrelated, and someone at the NFL leaked the info about the 2011 tests just to be a dick.
Miller appears to have just gotten word of the news:
Seeing reports abt 4 game susp. I know I did nothing wrong. I'm sure this'll be resolved fairly. Disapp. Broncos have 2 open camp like this.— Von Miller (@MillerLite40) July 22, 2013
Update: This narrows it down.
I can also confirm that Von’s case does not involve the Steroids and Related Substances Policy.— George Atallah (@GeorgeAtallah) July 22, 2013