Jets’ Bell rips league for ‘ran­dom’ 5th HGH test

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - SPORTS - By Den­nis Waszak Jr. AP Pro Foot­ball Writer

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) >> Le’Veon Bell is throw­ing a flag on the NFL’s drug test­ing pol­icy.

The New York Jets run­ning back says Wed­nes­day is up­set he has been ran­domly se­lected five times this sea­son by the league to take tests for per­for­mance-en­hanc­ing drugs.

“I done had 5 ‘ran­dom’ HGH blood test in 10 weeks,” Bell tweeted. “(at)NFL I’m not do­ing an­other af­ter today, what­ever y’all lookin for it ob­vi­ously ain’t there.”

Bell dou­bled down on his Twit­ter com­ment af­ter prac­tice, say­ing it’s “get­ting weird” and re­it­er­at­ing that he will not take ad­di­tional tests this sea­son — although he stopped short of say­ing the league is “tar­get­ing” him with the test­ing.

“I’m not go­ing to say all that,” Bell said in the locker room. “I’m just say­ing I’m not do­ing it no more. They’re not get­ting no more of my blood. They can use the blood they’ve got right now.”

The ran­dom drug test­ing is part of a col­lec­tively bar­gained pol­icy be­tween the NFL and NFL Play­ers As­so­ci­a­tion. An in­de­pen­dent ad­min­is­tra­tor de­ter­mines via a com­puter pro­gram which play­ers are tested each week.

“Is it ran­dom, though?” Bell said. “Why do I feel like ev­ery time they’re here do­ing the HGH test­ing, I get picked?”

Per NFL rules, play­ers with no pre­vi­ous vi­o­la­tions of the pol­icy on per­for­mance en­hancers won’t be tested more than six times in a cal­en­dar year.

“We’ve been play­ing the sea­son for 10 weeks and I’ve been tested five times for HGH,” Bell said. “On av­er­age, it’s like once ev­ery two weeks, right? Ev­ery two weeks, you all been test­ing me and haven’t found noth­ing, so what are y’all look­ing for? “I just don’t un­der­stand.” If Bell does get ran­domly se­lected for a sixth test over the last five weeks of the sea­son and he re­fuses to take it, the league could con­sider it a failed test and choose to dis­ci­pline him — with sus­pen­sion a pos­si­bil­ity.

“If we have to cross that bridge, we’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” Bell said.

Bell wrote on Twit­ter he’ll refuse to have the league “stick me” with “dirty” nee­dles. He clar­i­fied that com­ment say­ing he sim­ply dis­likes nee­dles, in gen­eral, and prefers urine test­ing.

“You want me to pee in a cup, I can do that all day,” he said. “Just, I ain’t try­ing to do it with nee­dles. Nee­dles, you can get that away from me.”

Bell was sus­pended by the NFL for two games in 2014 while he was with Pitts­burgh af­ter he was charged with mar­i­juana pos­ses­sion and DUI, a vi­o­la­tion of the league’s sub­stance abuse pol­icy. He was also sus­pended four games in 2016 for miss­ing a test.

He signed with the Jets last March af­ter sit­ting out last sea­son in a con­tract dis­pute with Pitts­burgh. Bell made head­lines this sum­mer when he was forced to miss por­tions of train­ing camp prac­tices on con­sec­u­tive days to take league­man­dated tests.

Bell is off to the worst start of his ca­reer, av­er­ag­ing just 3.2 yards per carry. He has also yet to rush for more than 100 yards in a game this sea­son. Bell is se­cond on the team in re­cep­tions with 46 for 309 yards and one TD.

PATRICK SEMANSKY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

New York Jets run­ning back Le’Veon Bell (26) moves past Washington Red­skins strong safety Mon­tae Ni­chol­son (35) in the first half of an NFL foot­ball game, Sun­day, Nov. 17, 2019, in Lan­dover, Md.

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