Almost as soon as news broke that Wes Welker has been suspended for the first four games of the NFL season for use of amphetamines — a banned substance under the league's performance-enhancing drug policy — a report surfaced that the Broncos' star slot receiver had taken Molly at the Kentucky Derby.
However, in an email to The Denver Post, Welker denied knowingly taking Molly, a synthetic drug often mixed with amphetamines to mimic the effects of MDMA, although he didn't rule out someone slipping him a substance that would help explain his rather bizarre behavior at Churchill Downs.
Officially, Welker tested positive for an amphetamine. A source close to the situation said Welker tested positive for Adderall. Welker wasn't sure what exactly flagged his positive test but he was incensed at a report he took a Molly at the Kentucky Derby. He does wonder if someone put something in his drink at the Derby.
“I wouldn't have any idea where to get a Molly or what a Molly is,” he said. “That's a joke. I don't do marijuana, I don't do drugs. I don't do any drugs.”
As the NFL Network's Albert Breer noted, players are alerted of suspensions in a letter that only lists the category of drug that violated the league's policy, so the athlete often knows more about which specific substance resulted in a positive test than his own team or the commissioner's office. Welker reportedly tested positive in May, shortly after the Derby, and his recent failed appeal resulted in Tuesday's suspension.
In his email, Welker subsequently blasted the NFL's "flawed" substance abuse policy, which the league has allegedly tried to stiffen in recent years despite strong opposition from the players' association.
"I have never been concerned with the leagues performance enhancing or drug abuse policies because under no scenario would they ever apply to me, but I now know, that (drug-policy procedures) are clearly flawed, and I will do everything in my power to ensure they are corrected, so other individuals and teams aren't negatively affected so rashly like this."
Regardless, Welker may not have suited up for the defending AFC champions in Week 1 even without the suspension, as he is still recovering from his third concussion in less than a year — suffered two weeks ago in Denver's third preseason game. Although, he was cleared for practice just prior to the suspension.
According to The Denver Post, the Broncos were "irate" to learn of the four-game ban so late after already installing their game plan for Sunday's game against the Colts, and they are currently scrambling to consider replacements on the roster for a receiver that has been one of the game's best since 2007. Likewise, fantasy football owners who scheduled drafts prior to Tuesday are feeling Denver's pain right about now.