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Volume 24 No. 181
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Wes Welker The Latest Member Of Broncos Franchise To Face League Suspension

Broncos WR Wes Welker yesterday became the "latest high-profile member of the organization to get busted by the NFL for running afoul of the league's drug policy" when he was suspended four games for testing positive for amphetemines, according to Mark Kiszla of the DENVER POST. The Broncos were already "without the services" of K Matt Prater for four games after he was suspended "for an alcohol violation." Those bans come after LB Von Miller last year "was suspended six games after he tried to cheat on a drug test" and Dir of Player Personnel Matt Russell and Dir of Pro Personnel Tom Heckert were arrested for DUI. In a span of 15 months, drugs "have caused trouble for five prominent team employees." Kiszla: "Notice a pattern?" The team has a "drug problem," and whether it "is alcohol, marijuana or amphetamines, our local football heroes do not discriminate" (DENVER POST, 9/3). ESPN’s Jeff Legwold reports there are several Broncos execs "who have spent a lot of time rubbing their temples lately" over the spate of suspensions by members of the franchise. Legwold: "I don't think they think it's some systematic problem, but I do think they believe it's something they have to look at and make sure everyone is aware of the things that are available to help players, or front office people, or coaches, or anybody who needs help with these things." However, Legwold noted the execs do not feel "like the organization is off the rails or anything." He said, "They still feel like it's a well-run operation with quality people top to bottom. But they do see these as issues that need to be addressed and they want to make sure the people involved have gotten the help or getting the help they need and that they have the support system in place that maybe they can prevent some of this in the future” (“SportsCenter,” ESPN, 9/3).