Dallas Cowboys Star Suspended For MDMA Use

By McCarton Ackerman 08/13/14

Orlando Scandrick was given a four-game suspension for doing drugs. Ray Rice was given two games for beating his wife.

Orlando Scandrick.jpg

The NFL’s ongoing drug problems seem to show no signs of slowing down after Dallas Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick tested positive for MDMA.

The league suspended Scandrick for the first four games of the season, meaning he will lose $1 million through the missed games and a signing bonus repayment. Scandrick reportedly failed the test in April after going on vacation in Mexico with an ex-girlfriend and had been undergoing an appeals process ever since. He tried to argue that he took the drug unknowingly, but eventually accepted the consequences.

“Although I never knowingly took a performance-enhancing drug/banned stimulant while on vacation in Mexico, I take full responsibility for what goes in my body and more importantly for the embarrassment of a failed drug test,” he said in a statement. “It’s my goal…to clear my name and more importantly to be judged by what happens to me in the future.” He can continue to participate in all preseason practices and games before returning to the roster on Sept. 29.

Scandrick’s agent, Ron Slavin, said that his client was only suspended because the NFL and the NFL Players’ Association never reached an agreement on human growth hormone testing. He argued that if the current proposed guidelines had been instituted, Scandrick and several other players suspended for performance enhancing drugs would have instead been subjected to the league’s Substance Abuse Policy and Program.

"I do not excuse Orlando having tested positive for a banned stimulant. The current rules are what they are, and a player is responsible for what is in his body,” said Slavin in a statement. “[But] more than 80 missed games, millions of dollars in fines and bonus repayments have been issued because the NFLPA and NFL cannot come to an agreement. The only people who are losing in this standoff are the players and fans."

Twenty other NFL players in recent years have also tested positive for MDMA. The NFL suspends players four games for their first offense and an entire season for their second violation. Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice received a two-game suspension for punching his wife in an Atlantic City casino.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.