The NFL has suspended Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker on Tuesday for four games after he tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug, reportedly a stimulant.

Welker, a powerful part of the NFL’s most productive scoring attack in history, will be a free agent at the end of the season. He just returned to practice on Monday after suffering a concussion during a pre-season game against Houston, his third concussion in the past 10 months. Welker will resume playing when the Broncos visit the New York Jets on October 12. He will lose the games at home against Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City, a rematch at Seattle Seahawks, and at home against Arizona on October 5.

It is rumored that the failed test of Walker could be because of him having ingested “molly” – MDMA, also known as ecstasy – at the Kentucky Derby in May. Welker was even clicked handing out $100 bills to strangers after having won $50,000 at Churchill Downs. However, Welker denied the Molly report and remarked he would not have any idea where to get a Molly, or what a Molly is. Walker went on to say that he does not do drugs and added he is as shocked as everyone at the news. Welker said he would never knowingly take a substance to gain a competitive advantage in any way. The fans of NFL are not to such denials. Last month, Dallas Cowboys’ Orlando Scandrick gave a similar excuse after he tested positive for amphetamines.

The use of performance enhancing and recreational drugs is not new to NFL.

Bill “Spaceman” Lee used to sprinkle marijuana on his Buckwheat pancakes. In the NFL of the 1970s and 80s, the Dallas Cowboys linebacker Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson was known to keep a liquid inhaler filled with a mixture of cocaine and water in his pants and had a habit of spraying into his mouth throughout the game.

In a remarkably frank 2010 interview with the Boston Globe, Boston Red Sox’s Bernie Carbo admitted that he smoked two joints, drank about 3-4 beers, used amphetamines, took a pain killer, drank a cup of coffee, chewed tobacco, and had a cigarette before he hit the three-run home run against the Cincinnati Reds in the eighth inning of Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. Carbo was eventually traded by Red Sox after the team learned he used to toss baseballs into the stands during batting practice in exchange for joints (marijuana).

In 2009, USA Swimming suspended Michael Phelps who was fresh off conquering a record eight gold medals in a single Olympics in Beijing the year before, from competition for a period of three months after a photograph of him smoking from a “marijuana pipe” emerged. In a statement explaining the ban, USA Swimming didn’t made attempts to argue that the doping of Phelps was meant to give him an edge over his competitors. It was remarked by USA Swimming that we decided to send a strong message to Michael because he disappointed so many people, particularly the hundreds of thousands of USA Swimming member kids who look up to him as a role model and hero.

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