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Wes Welker issues statement on suspension, wants drug policy changed

Wes Welker helmet

Wes Welker issued a statement to The Denver Post Tuesday regarding his 4-game suspension for violating the league’s drug policy.

In the statement, the Broncos wide receiver focused on how he did not violate the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy and was not cheating.

“I’m as shocked as everyone at today’s news,” Welker said in an e-mail to The Denver Post. “I want to make one thing abundantly clear: I would NEVER knowingly take a substance to gain a competitive advantage in any way. Anyone who has ever played a down with me, lifted a weight with me, even eaten a meal with me, knows that I focus purely on what I put in my body and on the hard work I put in year round to perform at the highest levels year-in and year-out.

“I want any youth football players and all sports fans to know, there are NO shortcuts to success, and nothing but hard work and studying, leads to success.”

Welker then talked about wanting the drug policy changed.

“I have never been concerned with the leagues performance enhancing or drug abuse policies because under no scenario would they ever apply to me, but I now know, that (drug-policy procedures) are clearly flawed, and I will do everything in my power to ensure they are corrected, so other individuals and teams aren’t negatively affected so rashly like this.

“I have worked my whole life to be the best that I can be, and I have encountered many obstacles over my career, and THIS WILL BE NO DIFFERENT!

“Thank you for the outpouring of support, and I want Bronco nation to know, that no one and no thing will get in the way of our goal as a team, to bring Mr. Bowlen the trophy he and this great region deserve.”

One report said Welker tested positive for amphetamines after taking the drug Molly at the Kentucky Derby in May. The Post says Welker tested positive for Adderall, which is a commonly used substance among NFL players.

Welker’s suspension is set to begin Week 1.

You have to appreciate the ethics behind Welker’s message to kids: don’t cheat the game, but taking the occasional molly while you’re partying is cool. Heck of a message.

Wes Welker reportedly took Molly at Kentucky Derby

Wes Welker Kentucky Derby

Wes Welker was suspended four games by the NFL for violating the league’s drug policy after testing positive for amphetamines in May.

[Also see: Welker suspended four games by NFL for amphetamines]

Pro Football Talk reports that Welker took Molly at the Kentucky Derby. Molly is one of the nicknames for the drug MDMA, which is also commonly known as ecstasy. Molly is the same drug that led to Orlando Scandrick’s suspension.

Welker made headlines for his behavior at the Kentucky Derby. He won big and began handing out $100 bills to fans. Churchill Downs later said they accidentally overpaid Welker.

Wes Welker suspended four games for amphetamines

Wes Welker BroncosWes Welker has been suspended four games for using amphetamines during the offseason.

NFL.com’s Albert Breer says Welker’s positive tests occurred in May. A report from Pro Football Talk says the positive test was the result of Welker taking Molly at the Kentucky Derby. Molly is a drug that includes amphetamines. The drug is also commonly referred to as ecstasy.

The Broncos knew about the positive tests but were holding out hope on Welker’s appeal, which occurred two weeks ago. All parties were notified Tuesday that Welker lost his appeal.

Welker has been dealing with a concussion suffered in the preseason, but he had been cleared to return to practice this week and did not look like he would miss any games. From 2005-2012, Welker only missed three regular season games. He missed three last season for Denver and will be out at least four at some point this year.

Welker caught 73 passes for 778 yards and 10 touchdowns last year. The Broncos will rely on Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders even more during Welker’s absence.

Cowboys to sign Michael Sam to practice squad

Michael Sam RamsThe Dallas Cowboys are reportedly planning to sign Michael Sam to their practice squad on Wednesday if the former St. Louis Rams defensive end passes a physical, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Sam was released by the Rams last week in a move that surprised some after he played well in the preseason and showed his ability to get to the quarterback. It was even more surprising that St. Louis didn’t keep Sam on its practice squad, but the former co-SEC Defensive Player of the Year was not on the unemployment line very long.

There have already been rumblings that Jerry Jones is bringing in Sam as a public relations stunt, especially after it was recently revealed that the Cowboys owner desperately wanted to draft Johnny Manziel in order to assure his team’s relevance. However, the Cowboys need all the help they can get on defense and are very thin at defensive line — especially after losing DeMarcus Ware in the offseason.

We’re not saying Sam is or ever will be anything close to Ware, but he has a legitimate shot at getting on the field if he impresses on the Cowboys practice team. I’m sure Jones will enjoy selling Sam jerseys, but signing Sam is almost certainly a football move.

Marshawn Lynch works out with Skittles in great commercial (Video)

One of the best things Marshawn Lynch could have done for his career was sign an endorsement deal with Skittles. The Seattle Seahawks running back obviously loves the chewy candies, and he ate them after scoring touchdowns anyway. Plus, now we all get to enjoy awesome Skittles commercials featuring Beast Mode.

Skittles released a new ad on Tuesday in advance of the start of the NFL season that shows Lynch using his favorite candy in every aspect of his training. He uses Skittles as weights to lift and pull and even dangles a bag in front of his face for motivation.

Marshawn-Lynch-Skittles

Between the new Skittles commercial and that Snickers commercial featuring Johnny Manziel, the candy companies are killing it leading up to football season.

Also see: Seahawks fans shower Marshawn Lynch in Skittles after TD

H/T Darren Rovell

Jim Irsay suspended six games, fined $500K

Jim IrsayJim Irsay pleaded guilty on Tuesday to driving while intoxicated, which paved the way for Roger Goodell to finally hand down his punishment of the Indianapolis Colts owner. Irsay has been suspended for the first six games of the 2014 season, fined $500,000 and banned from discussing his team or the NFL on social media.

“I have stated on numerous occasions that owners, management personnel and coaches must be held to a higher standard than players,” Goodell said in a letter to Irsay. “We discussed this during our meeting and you expressed your support for that view, volunteering that owners should be held to the highest standard.”

Goodell also noted that the Colts would not be forced to forfeit a draft pick or face any other type of competitive sanction because Irsay’s conduct “did not have competitive consequences.”

[Related: Jim Irsay had pills, pill bottles and $30K on him at time of arrest]

For a guy who has more money than he knows what to do with, this equates to a slap on the wrist for Irsay. He can’t be around the team until after the Colts face the Houston Texans on Oct. 9, but big deal. He’s an owner, not a coach.

Goodell is really punishing the fans, because Irsay runs one of the most entertaining Twitter accounts in sports. We don’t know the exact terms of his social media ban, but if Irsay can’t tweet ridiculous photos of himself getting jacked up for games then we’re all the real losers here.

H/T Mike Garafolo

Jim Harbaugh implies Ray McDonald will be cut if convicted of domestic violence

Ray-McDonald-NinersSan Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald was arrested over the weekend and charged with felony domestic violence. Given that Roger Goodell recently admitted he made a mistake with the Ray Rice punishment and has changed the NFL’s policy on handling domestic abuse cases, McDonald could be out for a while if convicted. He could also wind up being released by the Niners.

During his weekly appearance on KNBR Tuesday morning, Harbaugh basically promised that McDonald will no longer be welcome with the team if he is convicted.

“I’ll be very clear,” he said, per CSNBayArea.com’s Matt Maiocco. “You ask me how I feel about domestic violence. I can be very clear about that. If someone physically abuses a woman and/or physically or mentally abuses or hurts a child, then there’s no understanding. There’s no tolerance for that.”

When specifically asked if he meant that the Niners would not employ a player who was guilty of such behavior, Harbaugh did not hold back.

“Yes, we would not. We can be very clear,” he said. “There are going to be two principles at play here. And one is, I’ll speak for myself, I’ll speak for the 49ers: We’ll not tolerate domestic violence. The second principle, we’re firm believers in is due process. And I ask for your understanding on those two principles.”

Harbaugh’s stance against domestic violence has always been a firm one. In 2012, former Niners safety Donte Whitner said Harbaugh told the team he was willing to work through any problems players might have off the field with them, but physical abuse of a woman will not be tolerated.

“He said that we can do anything in the world and we can come and talk to him and he’ll forgive us except put our hands on women,” Whitner said. “If you put your hand on a woman then you’re done in his book. So other than putting your hands on women, you can do anything and come talk to him, and it’s true.”

It is somewhat ironic that Harbaugh’s brother John coaches Rice, but no one said the brothers have to hold the same principles and rules. McDonald will have his say in court, and we don’t know when that will be. But if he did in fact assault a woman, it seems pretty clear he will be given a pink slip.

H/T Pro Football Talk