Steelers Le’Veon Bell May Not Face Suspension for Missing Drug Tests Despite Initial Reports
After missing the first two games of the 2015 season for the DUI and marijuana charges from the 2014 preseason, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell may have to sit out the first four games of this season as well.
Bell’s original suspension placed him in Stage 2 of the league’s substance-abuse program, subjecting him to a maximum of 10 random drug tests per month. Any missed or failed tests result in a four-game suspension with no room for negotiation.
Back in June, a rumor began circulating that Bell missed a drug test. The Pro Bowler vehemently denied the reports.
“I’m fine,” said Bell during minicamp. “I’ve missed no drug tests; I haven’t failed any drug tests. I’m completely fine.”
Of course, his attitude quickly changed when it was announced that the NFL was considering suspending him for missing his test.
“I’m gonna win the appeal,” wrote Bell on Instagram, as he has yet to hold a press conference since the issue came to the table. “They have no idea what happened, but don’t worry…let ‘em hate, when I end up missin’ no games at all, they for sure gonna try to love me again, and I’m only ridin’ with my LOYAL fans!! I appreciate you bro.”
Normally there’s no appealing a failed or missed drug test while part of the program. A missed drug test, however, can be forgiven in the event that the tester didn’t make a good faith effort to contact the player.
There lies Bell’s way out. Apparently, he changed his phone number recently and was never informed properly of his impending test. He remains confident that he will not be suspended.
ESPN’s John Clayton isn’t so sure. To sum up his explanation, Bell is facing quite the uphill battle in his appeal, and Steelers fans shouldn’t hold their breath for the beginning of the 2016 season.
Bell is also coming off a PCL and MCL tear in his right knee that cost him a number of games plus the playoffs.
On the bright side, Steeler fans, at least your quarterback didn’t deflate balls.