Gordon’s gone: Star receiver’s suspension upheld
CLEVELAND (TSX) — Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon was suspended for one year by the NFL on Wednesday for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.
Gordon is not allowed to practice with the Browns, attend team meetings or other club functions for an entire year. He will have to apply for reinstatement following the season.
Gordon, 23, acknowledged that the league upheld his suspension in a statement released by the NFL Players Association.
“I’d like to apologize to my teammates, coaches, the Cleveland Browns organization and our fans,” Gordon said in the statement. “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 met with league arbitrator Harold Henderson in New York to appeal the suspension on Aug. 4.
The league confirmed the suspension with a statement.
“Appeals officer Harold Henderson has upheld the suspension for the 2014 NFL season of Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. The suspension is effective immediately.”
Gordon tested positive for marijuana during the offseason, a violation of conditions required as a repeat offender. Gordon hired lawyer Maurice Suh to represent him at his appeal hearing. Suh argued the positive test was the result of secondhand smoke. Gordon has been tested nearly 70 times and passed every test but this particular one.
the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.
The Browns were frustrated that the league took so long to rule on the appeal.
“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,” general manager Ray Farmer said in a statement. “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 led the league in receiving yards last season with 1,646 yards despite missing two games for violating the substance-abuse program. Gordon was selected by the Browns in the second round of the 2012 supplemental draft.