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Wednesday 24, Sep 2014

  NFL May Be Stripped Of Its Tax-Exempt Status

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Several U.S. senators have proposed that the NFL should be stripped of its tax-exempt status. Last week, lawmakers introduced bills that threaten to revoke the tax exempt status of the league.

Legislation was unveiled by Sen. Cory Booker, a New Jersey Democrat, to boost funding for domestic violence prevention programs by revoking the NFL’s tax exemption status, which is technically a non-profit organization, and nine other professional sports leagues.

A few days later, Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington, Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada and Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota — all Democrats — introduced a measure for eliminating the tax protection status of the league if it continues to support the Washington team name, “Redskins.” Reid remarked it is not right that the National Football League continues to denigrate an entire population, while referring to Native Americans generally and the 27 tribes in his state. The Senate majority leader added he wish Roger Goodell and the NFL’s leadership team would take a stand. In a statement, Redskins said our position remains consistent with more than 80 percent of Americans who do not want to change the Washington Redskins name.

The bill came as the NFL and its commissioner, Roger Goodell are making efforts for repairing image of the league following the indefinite suspension imposed on former Ravens’ running back Ray Rice for knocking his then-fiancée unconscious in February in an Atlantic City casino elevator. The NFL is also fighting hard to control domestic or child abuse allegations against other players.

Congress has coerced sports leagues for years into action with the threat of removing tax or legal protections. Major League Baseball increased penalties more than fivefold for a first steroid offense in 2006 after being chastised and embarrassed at public hearings. The MLB also introduced a lifetime ban for a third violation.

University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias said it is so difficult to have Congress agree on anything. Tobias added threats can still be effective in moving those who are the targets to taking some action. And the NFL, like many others, does not want the adverse publicity. Sports economist Andrew Zimbalist of Smith College remarked it was not the threat of legislation that accelerated steroids reforms. Zimbalist added he does not believe the NFL will be influenced by threats to alter its tax status.

In recent weeks, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has created a new position for overseeing the social responsibility of the league. Goodell named consultants, all women, for studying domestic violence policies for the league. Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat who played a vital role in pushing baseball to enact stricter steroids penalties, said he is glad to see the NFL’s recent commitment to support organizations fighting domestic violence across the country. Cummings added we must continue to represent the interests of our constituents by holding the NFL’s feet to the fire on domestic violence and also remarked given the NFL’s popularity in American culture and the fact that one in four women have been victims of domestic violence, Congress can and should help ensure that the NFL appropriately addresses these incidents.

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Thursday 04, Sep 2014

  Denver Broncos Wide Receiver Suspended

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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.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Denver Broncos Wide Receiver Suspended

Saturday 09, Jun 2012

  HGH testing issue hanging in uncertainty

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No testing protocol has been finalized by the NFL and the NFLPA even though testing for human growth hormone will start during the 2011 season.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell briefly addressed the situation and said, “If the population study was the only thing in the way from us reaching an agreement, we would have an agreement.”

“Let me put it that way.  We are prepared to do that if that resolves the issue.  I sent an e-mail to [NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith] before I left, and unfortunately, our meetings sort of crossed, but HGH was on that list and I expect by the end of the week I will be speaking to him about it again,” NFL Commissioner added.

Saturday 10, Mar 2012

  Speculation on Alleged Suspension of Saunders

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TE Weslye Saunders will face suspension for the first four game of the 2012 season, according to reports.

However, there was no verification of whether the suspension was for the substance abuse policy (drugs, narcotics, etc.) or the anabolic steroid and related substances policy (HGH, anabolic steroids, etc.) of the NFL.

It has been believed that the claimed positive test of Saunders came not from PEDs or medication, but rather, because of a therapeutic pharmaceutical that included an ingredient on the league’s record of suspended ingredients.

Tuesday 24, Jan 2012

  Player Union right to question HGH testing methods

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The ongoing standoff between NFL players with WADA and its American arm, USADA, over human growth hormone testing, is becoming intense with each passing day.

“To me it’s clear that WADA is more interested in bullying us into a test than in scientifically supporting and justifying their testing protocol,” NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith said.

“That’s odd to me,” said Doping researcher Don Catlin, founder of the UCLA Olympic lab and the man who cracked the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative case. “I don’t understand it. Scientists with a good finding are usually crawling to get published in a peer-reviewed journal so the world can see it.”

Saturday 21, Jan 2012

  Steroid user stereotype image does not fit Braun

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Ryan Braun, who joined the Milwaukee Brewers in 2007, didn’t fit image fans conjure up when they hear that a baseball slugger has been accused of using performance enhancing drugs.

The player helped drive the Brewers to the playoffs was voted as the Most Valuable Player of the NFL.

“One theory is that anabolic steroids hasten the repair of those muscle fibers, and allow you to work out harder,” Norman Fost, a professor of pediatrics and director of the bioethics program at the University of Wisconsin, said.

Friday 20, Jan 2012

  HGH testing by MLB not effective

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The latest feat of Major League Baseball of extended “labor peace” with the Major League Players Association was reached on November 22, 2011.

MLB has apparently won out in its attempt to curb illicit use of human growth hormone (HGH) by its players, as per terms of the latest basic agreement between the parties.

The agreement will run five years in duration and expire on December 1, 2016. Article 39, Sec. 7 (b) of the NFL’s CBA states: “The parties confirm that the Program on Anabolic Steroids and related Substances will include both annual blood testing and random blood testing for human growth hormone, with discipline for positive tests at the same level as for steroids.”

Wednesday 11, Jan 2012

  Colts’ Jaimie Thomas banned

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The NFL has suspended Colts guard Jaimie Thomas for violating the anabolic steroids and related substances policy.

Thomas is on injured reserve and has been banned for four games.

“Practice will go along this week and we’ll see where we are. We do have a lot of possibilities and some of them are too endless to go through,” coach Jim Caldwell said Wednesday. “It’s just the way it is. You take a look at where you are and adjust accordingly.”

Friday 02, Dec 2011

  Jaimie Thomas suspended by NFL

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The NFL has suspended Colts guard Jaimie Thomas after he was found violating the league’s substance policy.

Presently on injured reserve, Thomas violated the anabolic steroids and related substances policy.

From Yardbarker.com:

As the NFL and the NFLPA continue to make no progress on the question of whether HGH testing will be implemented, guys are still getting periodically caught for using other banned substances.

The latest?  Colts offensive lineman Jaimie Thomas has been suspended four games for violating the league’s steroids policy.

The NFL did not say what prohibited substance Thomas tested positive for.

Sunday 27, Nov 2011

  Options on enforcing HGH testing deal evaluated by NFL

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After the NFL and NFLPA not coming to a final agreement on HGH testing and the NFLPA already agreeing that players will submit to testing, the NFL has at its disposal several options for enforcing the language of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

One ore more of the options could be used at some point by the NFL.

The NFLPA has resisted HGH testing and argued that WADA’s “population study” of Olympics athletes may not translate to NFL players.

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