The use of steroids in the NFL has been an ongoing issue for many years. Players buying steroids dates back to the 1960’s in such instances as Denver Broncos defensive lineman Lyle Alzado stating he used the drug.
· During the 1987 season the NFL started to test players for steroid use.
· During the 1989 season the NFL starting handing out suspensions to players that were caught using the drug.
· In 1987 the NFL also adopted their steroid policy.
The steroid policy in the NFL is criticized by some and applauded by others. Nonetheless, the steroid policy in the NFL is the longest running policy of any professional sport. The NFL’s policy, when compared to the MLB and NHL policies, seems to be the strictest.
Ø The policy involves all NFL players getting tested many time year-around. Many players have found to be guilty of using the drug since the NFL started doing year around random screenings for banned substances.
Originally there were specific guidelines for when a player was caught using performance enhancing drugs. For example, if a player was caught using during the off-season they were suspended for 30 days for a first time offense. This would basically mean missing 4 games – 3 preseason and 1 regular season game. For a second offense the player was suspended for one year, and the punishment for a third offense was never stated because it never happened. In preceding years, many players started ignoring the policy so Gene Upshaw, the NFLPA director sent out a letter that basically stated players that took banned substances would be suspended for 4-games without pay, and he advised the players not to take any supplements at all.