On Deck: Human Nature

Last year Denver Bronco’s linebacker D.J. Williams provided a urine sample before the season began. One part of the specimen was tested for performance enhancing substances the other part was tested for recreational drug use. After compiling all the data, I’m sure the lab tech took a pause, re-ran the specimen and spoke to his supervisor before issuing this conclusion:

“The specimen does not contain any endogenous steroids. The profile is not consistent with a normal, healthy male urine specimen.”

Allow me to geek out and explain. If you are a living human being, you produce naturally occurring steroids that aid and grow muscles and bones. And those naturally occurring steroids were nowhere to be found in Williams’ sample. So what in the world did he drop into the vial that day?

Animal urine! Am I right? We’re all thinking it. The most “logical” of lies in this situation would be that he found out about the random drug testing, panicked and coerced a dog into using the bathroom. But reports are he may have used synthetic urine.

In case you’re wondering, I’ve done my research and the synthetic urine market lives in the creepiest corners of the Internet. Fake urine just happens to be the one topic on which pranksters, addicts, scientists, fetishists and athletes of all calibers intersect.

Well, a few months later Williams was issued another drug test and again the test came back as a non-human sample. It’s possible that Williams finally realized they were on to him, but that didn’t stop him from continuing his charade. In his third test an investigator reported that a bottle fell from Williams’ waist before the test and he began to kick it away.

The repeated cheating and sample tampering is one thing, but then while not admitting one tiny drop of yellow guilt, Williams allowed his attorney, Peter Ginsburg, to issue a statement accusing the NFL of unfairly rushing to judgment.

Everyone I know gets one shot at a drug test and three separate tests conducted over the season doesn’t really sound like rushing to judgment. It’s possible that the NFL moved cautiously because there are over 1,600 on the rosters, and surely he can’t be the only one. Honestly, it’s amazing that after Major League Baseball had years of drug testing problems, the NFL wouldn’t tighten the reins on its own organization.

Commissioner Goodell has a heavy-handed method of managing the players and teams,
but on this front he needs to keep the sport as clean as possible. Synthetic drugs and urine will be emerging faster than the testing abilities of the country’s best laboratories.

We live in a world that is not so black and white and every day we face gray areas that harbor all sorts of half-truths, omissions, and strangely inconclusive urine testing results. Being human comes with the pitfalls of temptation and deception, but when you find yourself kicking away your fake urine bottle it’s time to reevaluate.

By Keysha Hogan – @TheKeysha

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