*The 2014-15 NFL season is over for Josh Gordon before it even begins.
The Cleveland Browns wide receiver has been suspended the entire NFL season for another violation of the league’s substance abuse policy.
The league announced Wednesday that arbitrator Harold Henderson upheld Gordon’s suspension. The Pro Bowler had appealed claiming the weed detective in his system was the result of second-hand smoke. He also told the league that his failed “A” sample was only one nanogram per milliliter above the league’s threshold of 15 nanograms per milliliter while the “B” sample measured below the threshold at 13.63.
Gordon’s suspension is effective immediately and he will have to apply for reinstatement following the season. Gordon is not allowed to practice with the team, attend meetings or other club functions.
“I’d like to apologize to my teammates, coaches, the Cleveland Browns organization and our fans,” Gordon said in a statement. “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.”
The talented 23-year-old led the league with 1,646 yards receiving last season despite being banned for the first two games for a failed drug test. He became the first player in league history to record consecutive 200-yard games.
Gordon’s loss is a crippling blow to Cleveland’s offense, depriving the Browns of their best big-play threat. He averaged 18.9 yards per catch in 2013.