Top 10 Football Stars That Failed A Drug Test In The USA

Top 10 Football Stars That Failed A Drug Test In The USA


In the NFL, players must pass a drug test before they get to play on the field. Some individuals failed a drug test in the USA. Athletes are always looking for ways to gain an advantage on the field, so if they happen to stumble upon a drug that can help them stay at their peak performance level or avoid getting injured, it is only natural for them to try it. 
However, these drugs are illegal, and professional athletes are strongly advised to stay away from them. Inability to do so can lead to severe consequences, including getting their career cut short. The NFL enforces strict rules regarding the use of performance-enhancing drugs. 
If an individual is caught using these medications without authorization, their career is in danger. Some athletes failed a drug test in the USA but managed to keep their jobs intact by avoiding further transgressions; however, some couldn't do the same. 

Table of Contents:

  • Dexter Manley
  • Chuck Muncie
  • Tony Collins
  • Terry Glenn
  • Darrell Russell
  • Cedric Griffin
  • Fred Davis
  • Josh Gordon
  • Ricky Williams
  • Charles Rogers
  • Dexter Manley

    A third-round pick (59th overall) in the 1981 NFL Draft, Manley played 12 seasons for the Washington Redskins and Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL). He was named to two Pro Bowls and made three Super Bowl appearances.

    Dexter Manley got addicted to cocaine, alcohol, and drugs while he was playing football. In November 1989, Manley was tested positive for cocaine; he had failed his third drug test by this time.

    Manley didn't recognize the medication in question; however, he later admitted that he had a problem with cocaine. Manley was reinstated after one year ban. He later went on to play one final season with the Redskins in 1994 but was released before the season ended as he again failed his fourth drug test.

    Dexter Manley believes that because of his strict religious background and famous parents, he could not break free from the pressures of playing football and eventually fell into drugs and other substances. Manley's first mention by the media as a drug user came near the end of his career.

    Chuck Muncie

    Chuck Muncie was an American football player who played primarily as a running back for the Minnesota Vikings, Los Angeles Rams, and San Diego Chargers. Muncie played college football at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and left its all-time leading rusher with 4,180 yards.

    The Minnesota Vikings selected Chuck Muncie in the 1974 NFL Draft. Throughout his 8-year NFL career, he rushed for 5,955 yards and scored 55 touchdowns. However, Muncie was suspended after he failed the urine drug test.

    National Football League Commissioner Pete Rozelle banned Muncie from playing again until he finished an association-managed assessment. It was said that traces of THC and active ingredients of MMJ were found. Furthermore, Muncie, in 1982, entered a drug and alcohol dependency rehabilitation center.

    Tony Collins

    Tony Collins is a retired American football player who played for eighteen years in the NFL. He is best known as the first player to be suspended from the National Football League following a positive test for banned substances.

    In college, Collins was undrafted and finally landed on an NFL practice squad with the Oakland Raiders, where he earned an NFL contract after being selected as one of their ten players of "the future."

    Furthermore, he endorsed with the Indianapolis Colts in 1988 yet was suspended for the whole season after failing a drug test. Collins's drug problem started when he became dependent on pain relievers after experiencing a lower leg injury with the Patriots in 1982.

    For the following six years, Collins was "hooked on painkillers." The NFL suspended him in November of 1988 for four games. He appealed the suspension by pointing out that he had never tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

    Nevertheless, his appeal was denied after it was revealed that he had used PCP on two separate occasions while with the Indianapolis Colts. A year later, in December of 1989, while playing for the Raiders, Collins once again failed a drug test and was banned from football for life.

    Terry Glenn

    Terry Glenn was one of the best wide receivers to play in the NFL, but after his death, it is now well-known that his professional career was plagued with drug addiction. He was drafted by the New England Patriots in 1996 and played on some of the best teams in the NFL, and was notable for his terrifying speed and athleticism.

    Initially, Glenn missed the NBL drug test, and he was suspended for a year. He was included in the Substance Abuse Program but continued to use drugs even after his suspension. Furthermore, in January 2000, Glenn tested positive for MMJ.

    He was suspended for two years and couldn't play in the NFL again until January 2001. Moving forward, Glenn, on August 3, was suspended again for missing a mandatory drug test. He was opposed to the suspension and threatened to sue the NFL.

    In July 2008, Glenn was released from professional football due to his health issues and did not appear in the NFL anymore.

    Darrell Russell

    Russell's seven-year, $22 million agreement in 1997 was the most extravagant freshman agreement at any point endorsed in the NFL. In the wake of making the Pro Bowl in 1998 and 1999, Russell played three more seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles and was ready to have a prevailing NFL profession.

    Nonetheless, the accompanying season Russell failed a drug test due to which he was suspended for one year, which adequately cleared out his 2002 season. Russell missed 1½ years while serving two association suspensions before playing in eight games in 2003 for the Washington Redskins.

    Be that as it may, the positive drug tests continued to come, and the association suspended Russell endlessly. His positive drug test in 2004 was his seventh infraction of the association's drug strategy.

    Russell's last NFL experience was in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers instructional course in 2004.

    Cedric Griffin

    Cedric Griffin is a former NFL player who primarily played for the Minnesota Vikings. Griffin was a 4th-round pick in the 2006 NFL Draft. Griffin first gained national attention during his sophomore year at Texas for an illegal commercial created by him.

    He also played for the Seattle Seahawks, Washington Redskins, and Chicago Bears. Cedric Griffin was the only player in NFL history to be suspended for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs for four games.

    He was reported, tested positive for Adderall. He has continued to make headlines, but not all of them are good. Griffin returned to the game after his four-game suspension.

    Fred Davis

    Fred Davis (tight end) was drafted by the Redskins in the second round in 2008. He played on multiple teams, including the Redskins, Bengals, Broncos, and Saints. For some time, he was also on the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad.

    His journey to fame started with an All-American career at Miami of Ohio, culminating in being the first Big East Tight End to win the Mackey Award for a best tight end in 2008. After being drafted by the Redskins, Fred's career began to take off.

    However, Davis got suspended for four games during his career because he repeatedly tested positive for marijuana, against NFL policy. He appealed and had his suspension lifted and was able to continue playing.

    Unfortunately, Davis never got his career back to the way it was in the beginning because, in 2015, he suffered a severe Achilles injury which forced him to retire.

    Josh Gordon

    Josh Gordon is an American football wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League. Gordon was drafted in the 2012 NFL Draft with the 60th overall pick and signed a four-year contract worth $5.66 million, including a signing bonus of $3.2 million.

    Gordon, nicknamed "Flash," is considered by many to be one of the fastest players in the league. Preceding the beginning of the 2013 season, Gordon was suspended two games for disregarding the NFL's substance abuse policy.

    He started Cleveland's remaining fourteen games finishing the year with 87 receptions for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns. Furthermore, at the beginning of 2014, Gordon was arrested for a DWI.

    Two months after Gordon's arrest, the NFL declared he had been suspended the whole 2014 season for a positive drug test (MMJ). The suspension was subsequently decreased to 10 games because of the association's transformed drug policy.

    In 2015, Gordon was suspended for the entire 2015 season because he violated the league's substance-abuse policy for alcohol. Later on, he was once again suspended for the whole of the 2016 NFL season for failure to apply to be reinstated.

    Ricky Williams

    Ricky Williams is a previous American football running back who started his professional career with the San Francisco 49ers. He played for San Francisco from 1998 through 2005 and was later traded to the New Orleans Saints.

    In addition to his NFL career, he played college football for UCLA. Williams has been suspended several times in his career but was never arrested or charged with a crime. In 2004, he was suspended for his whole 2004 season to violate the league's substance-abuse policy.

    Williams failed his third drug test for MMJ and faced a fine of $50,000 along with a four-game suspension. Furthermore, William was suspended for all of 2006 after a fourth failed test. In 2007, Williams failed another drug test, leading to multiple tests a week as he applied for reinstatement.

    However, coming back into the game in 2018, William played in each season from 2008–2011 with no failed drug tests.

    Charles Rogers

    Charles Rogers is a former wide receiver who the Detroit Lions drafted with the subsequent by and large pick in the 2003 NFL Draft. He had a successful college career at Michigan State and did not miss a game throughout his time there.

    He was drafted with high expectations but had two huge problems with his drug use and injuries. In 2005, Rogers was suspended by NBL as he tested positive for MMJ twice while at Michigan State.

    At that time, he was suspended indefinitely for failing to comply with the NFL's drug policy. However, Rogers returned to the Detroit Lions. Nevertheless, his career was cut short due to his constant injuries and failed drug tests.

    Summing up

    All of these players were at the top of their game but ended up having their careers fade away after failing drug tests. After failing a drug test, you will have a suspension from the NFL. Eliminating yourself from the NFL will lead to a life of being an outcast from society.

    Many of these guys have been arrested or pleaded guilty to charges that they could not complete their sentences. Thus, it's clear that these players should focus on their careers instead of using illegal substances.


    What is the National Football League drug policy?

    The National Football League provides the NFL drug policy. It is a comprehensive policy that uses an array of banned substances. Moreover, the league has a public awareness campaign called "Take a Knee," an educational program for players and parents regarding safe and legal pain relief and recovery methods that do not contain banned substances or alcohol.

    Athletes should be aware that the league will crush their dreams once they test positive for MMJ while playing in the NFL due to three failed drug tests. It includes failing a drug test for recreational substances, such as cocaine or performance-enhancing substances. 

    For instance, a player will be suspended from the league for a certain period, depending on the amount of these substances found in their system. Furthermore, it may range from a few weeks to a few months.

    Longer punishments may affect the player's future career in the NFL and other professional leagues such as the CFL and NFL Europe.

    What is all illegal under the NFL drug policy?

    Banned substances are MMJ, stimulants, anabolic steroids, steroid precursors, human growth hormones, and other substances. However, it varies from team to team.

    What are the drugs that are not banned?

    A list of the drugs that are not banned is provided below: 

    All over-the-counter medications unless they contain a stimulant, anabolic steroid, or steroid precursor.

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