Lane Johnson Fights to Keep Suit Against NFL and NFLPA Alive

On January 16, 2019, Lane Johnson, a right tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles, fought a motion for summary judgment in his case against the NFL and the NFLPA. Johnson argues that an arbitrator who handled an appeal in his 10-game Performance Enhancing Drug policy suspension, failed to disclose a conflict of interest. Back in 2016, Johnson filed his lawsuit after an arbitration proceeding which upheld his 10-game suspension for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drugs policy. Johnson alleges that James Carter, an arbitrator and senior counsel…
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NFL and Players Union Defends Drug Testing of Eric Reid

A joint statement co-authored by the National Football League and its players union defended the decision to administer a series of drug tests to the Panthers’ Eric Reid, reiterating the organization’s ban against performance-enhancing drugs and stating that Reid was not singled out in the testing process. Reid had claimed that the NFL and its team had colluded against him in an effort to dissuade him from protesting the national anthem. Reid, a former San Francisco 49er, was one of the first players to kneel…
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Lane Johnson Fights to Keep Lawsuit Alive

On November 19, 2018, Philadelphia Eagles right tackle, Lane Johnson, wrote two letters to Judge Sullivan regarding his lawsuit against the NFL and the NFL Players Association (“NFLPA”). As we have previously reported, in 2016, Johnson was hit with a 10-game drug suspension for his alleged use of performance enhancing drugs. In response, Johnson filed a lawsuit against the NFLPA, arguing that the NFLPA’s inactions caused his suspension. Specifically, Johnson sued the NFL and the NFLPA for allegedly failing to follow the collective bargaining…
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NFL Painkiller Class Action Resurrected by 9th Circuit

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has reversed a lower court’s dismissal of a class action filed by former NFL players, sending the case back to federal court. The suit claims the NFL encouraged players to abuse painkillers, including opioids. In 2014, the lower court sided with the NFL, holding that the claims were preempted by the Labor Management Relations Act and the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the NFL team owners and athletes. Now, however, the 9th Circuit has…
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Ryan Lochte Facing 14-Month Suspension for IV Infusion

12-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist, Ryan Lochte, is currently facing a 14-month suspension for violating World Anti-Doping Agency regulations. The unintended reprieve comes at the swimmer’s own hand – his suspension is a direct response to his social media post, which showed him receiving an intravenous infusion. The photo came to the attention of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which became suspicious and launched an investigation, ultimately finding that although the substances comprising the treatment were permissible, the volume of the substance exceeded the permissible…
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Vijay Singh Moving Closer to Trial on Opposition of Doping Suspension

In September 2017, the Sports and Entertainment Law Insider reported that Vijay Singh’s lawsuit against the PGA Tour was heading for trial. That conclusion became clearer as a
New York appellate court affirmed a decision to deny the PGA Tour’s motion for summary judgment on Thursday, June 21, 2018. Singh was suspended by the PGA in 2013 for allegedly violating the tour’s anti-doping policy. Believing he was abiding by all rules, Singh discussed using deer-antler spray to aid pain in a Sports Illustrated article. Singh…
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Bases Loaded for Court of Arbitration for Sport

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has seen a remarkable number of cases since opening at the 2016 Olympic Games. In the week since opening, the division has already registered 11 cases, matching the total number of cases evaluated during the entire 2012 Olympic Games. Although CAS has been busy so far, it is not unexpected. The origination of many disputes is related to Russian athletes and whether or not they were allowed to compete in the Rio de Janeiro games. In response to…
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Russian Track & Field Team Banned from Rio Olympics in Unprecedented Decision

In an unprecedented decision, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) announced on Friday, June 17, 2016, that Russia and the Russian Athletics Federation has failed to show enough progress to warrant lifting the November 2015 provisional doping scandal suspension. Although the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will make the final call about Russian’s participation in the Rio Olympics, the decision bars the team from competition. The track-and-field team was provisionally banned from competition following a 2015 report from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). WADA’s report…
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Barry Bonds Absolved of Obstruction Conviction

On Wednesday, April 22, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed Barry Bonds’ conviction for obstruction of justice stemming from questionable testimony given in front of a grand jury in 2003 regarding the use and distribution of illegal steroids. Bonds was summoned to testify before a grand jury in 2003 about his alleged use of performance enhancing drugs.  During the proceedings, Bonds was questioned for nearly three hours.  In 2007, he was charged with making false statements and obstructing justice.  Trial did not begin until…
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Clemens’ Defamation Lawsuit Reaches Settlement

On Wednesday March 18, the defamation-based legal dispute between Roger Clemens and his former trainer, Brian McNamee,  arising from allegations that the long-time MLB pitcher used performance enhancing drugs, has finally settled. The dispute began over 7 years ago with the publication of the now infamous Mitchell Report.  In the report, pitching trainer, Brian McNamee, accused both Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens of taking performance enhancing drugs banned by the MLB.  Though Pettitte quickly admitted to his use, Clemens denied, and continues to deny,…
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