NFL upholds 1-year suspension of Cleveland Browns' Josh Gordon

"I'd like to apologize to my teammates, coaches, the Cleveland Browns organization and our fans," Gordon said in a statement.
By Aileen Graef  |  Aug. 27, 2014 at 4:03 PM
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NEW YORK, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- The NFL decided Wednesday to uphold the one-year suspension of Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon after he failed a marijuana test.

The announcement was made after Gordon met with NFL officials to appeal the decision in New York on Aug. 4. The suspension is effective immediately and his eligibility will be reevaluated after the year. He will not be allowed to participate in games, practices or meetings.

"I'd like to apologize to my teammates, coaches, the Cleveland Browns organization and our fans," Gordon said in a statement released by the NFL Players Association. "I am very disappointed that the NFL and its hearing office didn't exercise better discretion and judgment in my case. I would like to sincerely thank the people who have been incredibly supportive of me during this challenging time, including my family, my agent, my union, my legal team, and the Cleveland Browns staff."

Gordon previously had a two-game suspension following a drug violation last season. His case was also damaged by an arrest for driving while intoxicated in July. He also had a traffic stop in May where one of his passengers was charged with marijuana possession.

Despite his setbacks, people were positing that the NFL may soften the blow to Gordon following other controversial suspension decisions. Baltimore Raven's player Ray Rice only received a two-game suspension after a video emerged of him dragging his unconscious wife out of an elevator after allegedly hitting her. In 2010, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was suspended for four games after he was charged with sexual assault twice in one year.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell stood by his decision to suspend Rice, saying he was "a young man who made a terrible mistake."

The loss of Gordon on the Cleveland Browns' offensive line is expected to be a detrimental setback in the upcoming season.

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