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Sources: Joe Haden Facing Possible NFL Suspension

Aug 08, 2012 -- 2:03pm


By Will Burge

and Tony Grossi

Multiple sources tell ESPN Cleveland that the NFL is currently reviewing a failed drug test by Browns cornerback Joe Haden that could result in a four-game suspension.

One source said that Haden tested positive for the prescription drug Adderall during a routine, off-season test administered in accordance with the NFL’s policy on anabolic steroids and related substances.

Adderall, which is commonly prescribed to treat attention deficit disorder and narcolepsy, is also used for excessive tiredness. It is on the NFL’s list of banned substances and is classified by the league as a stimulant.

According to sources, Haden has been notified that he tested positive. Under terms of the league policy, a positive test results in a second test from the original sample. If that shows up positive as well, Haden would be suspended for the first four games of the regular season.

After the Browns' practice in Cleveland Browns Stadium Wednesday, Haden was visibly distressed when he faced reporters and repeatedly declined to comment on his situation.

"It's really a league matter. I can't comment on it now," Haden said.

Asked if he expected to play in the opener on Sept. 9, he said, "I really can't say anything."

Coach Pat Shurmur said, "I don't anything about what was reported, and if I did I couldn't comment."

Haden can appeal. If upheld, the suspension would cost Haden four game checks. In his case, that would amount to more than $1.356 million.

Per terms of the league policy, Haden also would be ineligible for selection to the Pro Bowl or to receive any other honors or awards from the league or the NFL Players Association for the season in which the violation is upheld.

Safety Tyler Sash of the New York Giants was recently suspended four games by the NFL for testing positive for Adderall.

In a letter to players included as an appendix on the NFL’s policy on anabolic steroids and related substances, the league states, “You and you alone are responsible for what goes into your body. Claiming that you used only legally available nutritional supplements will not help you in an appeal.”

Haden’s agent Drew Rosenhaus, who represents several Browns, visited the team’s training camp practice on Tuesday. He was approached by ESPN Cleveland and declined to comment.

Sean Cabble, Haden’s manager, was reached via phone and said, “I am unaware of any situation like that.”

Browns spokesman Neal Gulkis responded in an email, “Don’t know anything about that. Can’t confirm.”

A league spokesman also responded, “We have no comment.”

If Haden is suspended, he would be the fourth starter on the Browns’ defense who would be out for the season opener against Philadelphia on Sept. 9.

The team is already missing defensive tackle Phil Taylor (torn pectoral muscle surgery), linebacker Scott Fujita (league suspension) and linebacker Chris Gocong (torn Achilles tendon surgery).

 

Will Burge & Tony Grossi cover the Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR, ESPN 1540 KNR2 & ESPNCleveland.com.

Follow Will on Twitter @WillBurge

Follow Tony on Twitter @TonyGrossi

 

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