In a stunning twist, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has won his suspension appeal and will not miss any games after failing a drug test that came up positive for PEDs.
Sherman had been waiting a ruling oh his possible suspension after he officially appealed it last Friday. The drama surrounding the situation focused on the fact that if Sherman had been suspended by the league, he would have missed the playoffs for the Seahawks. The only way Sherman could have played another game this season would have been if Seattle made it to the Super Bowl.
That seemed like a tall order without the help of Sherman, but now Seattle will have both Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman back for the playoffs.
Thank you @nfl for upholding the truth! To the 12s Thank you your faith is rewarded! Thank you lord
— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) December 27, 2012
The real loser here is Brandon Browner, who forfeited the right to appeal his suspension and just served it out. It was a smart move on the surface though, as instead of being without both cornerbacks, Seattle had at least one half of the tandem and was guaranteed the other half if Sherman was suspended.
Browner is serving the final game of his suspension this Sunday and will return for the Seahawks Wild Card game.
But while he seems like a fool now for not challenging his suspension, Browner took one for the team and that needs to be commended. While it happens that this whole situation turned out the best way it possibly could have, there were a million bad ways it could have gone too and Browner was looking out for the best interest of the team.
As for Sherman, he was so confident that he’d win his appeal that he said he’d sue if the appeal wasn’t upheld. Sherman cited a contaminated urine sample as the reason for his failed test, as he claims he was given a dirty cup that was randomly pulled and given to him. A similar excuse was made by Milwaukee Brewers MVP Ryan Braun, who also saw his appeal upheld.
The next thing we need to consider is this: just how many players have now been unjustly suspended because of contaminated samples? Aqib Talib, Eric Wright, Joe Haden and Brandon Browner have all served lengthy suspensions due to the same failed drug test but with Sherman winning his appeal, the natural thing is to now assume that the testing system is corrupt.
Not that the NFL is purposefully suspending players, but that the way the tests are done isn’t proper and is resulting in false-positives.
It’s a legitimate and relevant question with so many players getting suspended and all of a sudden we find out that the tests are being done wrong. It may be a fringe example, but it’s an example nonetheless.
Sherman will be hitting the field this Sunday against the Rams and the Seahawks will be at full strength when the kick off their playoff journey in a few weeks.