Irvin handed suspension after failing drug test

eric.williams@thenewstribune.comMay 18, 2013 

For the sixth time since 2011, a player for the Seattle Seahawks violated the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

The latest Seattle player to run afoul of the league’s drug policy is second-year pro Bruce Irvin.

The NFL announced Friday that the Seattle defensive end out of West Virginia has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2013 regular season because of a positive drug test.

Irvin is eligible to return to the Seahawks’ active roster on Monday, Sept. 30 following the team’s Sept. 29 game at Houston.

Irvin will miss Seattle’s season opener at Carolina against the Panthers, home contests against the San Francisco 49ers and the Jacksonville Jaguars, along with a road contest against the Texans.

Irvin will be eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games.

The miscue will cost Irvin $191,681 in base salary for the 2013 season.

Irvin tested positive for an amphetamine-type substance similar to the drug Adderall.

In a statement released by the Seahawks, Irvin said he will not appeal the suspension.

“I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and Seahawks fans for making a mistake when I took a substance that is prohibited in the NFL without a medical exemption,” Irvin said in the release. “I am extremely disappointed in the poor judgment I showed and take full responsibility for my actions.”

Losing Irvin for the first four games will be a significant setback for the Seahawks, one of the NFC favorites to advance to the Super Bowl in the upcoming season. Irvin led all rookies in sacks last season with eight.

In all likelihood, starting defensive end Chris Clemons will miss time while he rehabs from knee surgery in January. Also, defensive lineman Greg Scruggs is likely out for the year after recently having reconstructive knee surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament.

However, the Seahawks signed defensive ends Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett in free agency to improve the team’s pass rush. Seattle finished tied for 18th in the NFL in 2012 with 36 sacks.

Irvin is the sixth Seattle player to test positive for performance enhancing drugs since 2011. Others who tested positive:

 • Cornerback Brandon Browner, who was suspended for the final four games of the 2012 regular season after reportedly testing positive for Adderall.

 • Safety Winston Guy, who was suspended by the league for four games in 2012. Guy did not appeal the suspension.

Guy’s agent, Greg Linton, said his client tested positive for an over-the-counter substance that’s on the NFL’s lengthy list of banned substances.

 • Offensive lineman John Moffitt was suspended for four games without pay in December, 2011. According to Moffitt’s agent, Michael George, his client was suspended for taking a drug used to treat hyperactivity, and that Moffitt did not notify the league he was taking the drug.

 • Offensive lineman Allen Barbre was suspended for the first four games of the 2012 season. The Seahawks released Barbre that October after he finished serving his suspension.

 • Cornerback Richard Sherman was suspended for four games in 2012 for reportedly taking Adderall, but the decision was reversed when Sherman won his appeal on grounds that the sample was contaminated because of a leaky cup.

Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 eric.williams@thenewstribune.com @eric_d_williams blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks

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