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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

No common sense in the NFL

Saints defensive tackle Hollis Thomas will miss the rest of the season thanks to a suspension handed down by the NFL. The NFL says Thomas violated the league's steroid policy and will miss the last four games of the regular season as punishment.

Thomas and the Saints counter that he failed his August drug test because it was the steroids in his asthma medication. Thomas has appealed to the NFL and even received the backing of the team and the Saints' trainer, who's an assistant professor at the LSU Health Science Center.

Have we reached a new level of absurdity with the zero tolerance standard? Surely there are intelligent men and women in the NFL front office who can decide when there are circumstances that yield special consideration.

Thomas needs his medication to live. He's not using it to add bulk or repair fatigued muscles quicker.

Rather than do the right thing, the NFL throws the "zero-tolerance" blanket over each case. Yes, there are steroids being used in the NFL, and those violators should be punished. But when a guy needs them to breathe, is common sense the biggest casualty?


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