Broncos’ Wes Welker suspended for alleged amphetamine use, expresses shock

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The NFL on Tuesday suspended Denver Broncos receiver Wes Welker for four games for alleged amphetamine use.

Welker will miss games against the Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals -- all teams that won at least 10 games last season. The league says the suspension is for violation of the performance enhancing substances policy. Welker will be eligible to return to the active roster Oct. 6.

“Tonight’s news regarding Wes is very disappointing for our team, but we understand the league’s authority in this area," coach John Fox said. "While it’s unfortunate to not have him to start the year, I have full confidence in our wide receivers and expect that group to continue playing at a high level. I have no doubt that Wes will remain focused on his preparations for the season and stay in excellent shape during his time away from the team.”

The Broncos are also without kicker Matt Prater for the first four games as he serves a suspension on an alcohol-related violation.

According to Fox Sports, the Broncos have known about Welker's suspension since before training camp but were holding out hope on an appeal.


Wes Welker after winning more than $57,000 at the Kentucky Derby. Human error resulted in him being overpaid by about $15,000.

Pro Football Talk reported "Welker took Molly [ecstasy] at the Kentucky Derby."  "It had been cut with amphetamines," the site reported.

Welker was seen at the Derby handing out $100 to random passersby.

But Welker expressed shock in the positive drug test in an email statement to The Denver Post.

"I'm as shocked as everyone at todays news," Welker wrote. "I want to make one thing abundantly clear: I would NEVER knowingly take a substance to gain a competitive advantage in any way. Anyone who has ever played a down with me, lifted a weight with me, even eaten a meal with me, knows that I focus purely on what I put in my body and on the hard work I put in year round to perform at the highest levels year-in and year-out.

"I want any youth football players and all sports fans to know, there are NO shortcuts to success, and nothing but hard work and studying, leads to success.

"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.

"I have worked my whole life to be the best that I can be, and I have encountered many obstacles over my career, and THIS WILL BE NO DIFFERENT!

"Thank you for the outpouring of support, and I want Bronco nation to know, that no one and no thing will get in the way of our goal as a team, to bring Mr. Bowlen the trophy he and this great region deserve."

The Post also reported, citing a source, that Welker tested positive for Adderall and was not happy of the report that he took Molly.

“I wouldn't have any idea where to get a Molly or what a Molly is,” he told The Post. “That's a joke. I don't do marijuana, I don't do drugs. I don't do any drugs.”

Welker returned to the practice field Monday, continuing his recovery from his third concussion in 10 months. The injury was suffered during Denver's preseason game against the Houston Texans on Aug. 23.

Welker, 33, suffered his first concussion of the 2013 season on Nov. 17 in a win over the Kansas City Chiefs and returned to play a week later. He suffered his second concussion on Dec. 9 in a win over the Tennessee Titans and didn’t return until the Broncos’ first playoff game on Jan. 12.

Wes Welker suffered this concussion in a 18-17 preseason loss to the Houston Texans. The concussion was his third in the last 10 months.

Wes Welker suffered this concussion in a 18-17 preseason loss to the Houston Texans. The concussion was his third in the last 10 months.

Welker played the entire the postseason with a heavily padded helmet, and finished with 18 catches for 160 yards and a touchdown. That accompanied the 73 catches, 778 yards and 10 touchdowns that Welker compiled in his concussion-shorted regular season.

After Welker’s second concussion, Sports Illustrated columnist Jeff Pearlman wrote a well-publicized, impassioned and slightly obscene open letter to Welker, pleading with the Broncos receiver to retire.

Despite an increased focus on concussions in the past several seasons, Forbes reported that Welker’s concussion was the 59th suffered by an NFL player through three weeks of preseason games this year.



    • Truth

      There is only so much you can report on when there is nothing to report. He was suspended, it was due to amphetamines. That’s pretty much it. May as well add some filler…

  • Ben

    So… four games suspended for drug use (most amphetamines are considered recreational, not PEDs), but only 2 games for brutally beating a woman on videotape. So recreational drug use is 2x more offensive than beating your fiancé… Yea… that’s fair. Wes Welker is a class act. I hope all goes well for him.


    • Truth

      Although I agree with you, the NFL has changed the rules to a 6 game minimum for beating your wife so I guess this argument doesn’t work anymore…

      • Ben

        But the fact is that amps are not PEDs, they are recreational. If it was some sort of steroids I would agree with the ruling. MDMA and dextro/levo amphetamines will not help performance in any way. They are for fun and are ABSOLUTELY NOT PEDs. Welker is a great player, and he relies on his natural talent to be a receiving threat. He should not be punished whatsoever. I look up to Welker. I think he is an amazingly talented receiver and this will tarnish his reputation. When you have money and success, sometimes even great people succumb to the allure of drugs. Favre played for years on Vicodin (which he needed) and there was no problem. I highly doubt Wes plays games high on amps. It was probably something he took at a party. He should not be punished. fine him, sure… but to suspend the guy for having a little fun? That’s just not fair.


      • Ben

        On another note, the fact that the media is yelling PEDs, without mentioning what he really tested positive for is insulting. When we hear PEDs, we think steroids of HG or something. Amphetamines are no more PEDs than cocaine is. Should we discount student’s SAT scores who study using aderall?


    • Tommy Michaels

      Oh cry me a river. Life’s not fair Ben. He knew the rules, he broke them and he’s being disciplined for it. What’s not fair about that? Leave Ray Rice out of this – Wes Welker CHOSE to take amphetamines and is now going to pay the price.

      • sparkib

        And you know this how? I don’t think he did it intentionally.. no matter what you say. If it were you, you’d be whining like a b?<+&%. Especially if you didn't take it knowingly.

  • patty punches

    “Welker took Molly [ecstasy] at the Kentucky Derby.” “It had been cut with amphetamines,” the site reported.—— MDMA=methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine
    Just for the record… Molly always has amphetamines

  • Anonymous

    Amphetamine is used by some athletes for its psychological and performance-enhancing effects, such as increased stamina and alertness;[17][30] however, its use is prohibited at sporting events regulated by collegiate, national, and international anti-doping agencies.[56][57] In healthy people at oral therapeutic doses, amphetamine has been shown to increase physical strength, acceleration, stamina, and endurance, while reducing reaction time.[17][58][59] Like the psychostimulants methylphenidate and bupropion, amphetamine increases stamina and endurance in humans primarily through reuptake inhibition and effluxion of dopamine in the central nervous system.[58][59] At therapeutic doses, the adverse effects of amphetamine do not impede athletic performance;[17][58][59] however, at much higher doses, amphetamine can induce effects that severely impair performance, such as rapid muscle breakdown and elevated body temperature.[16][26][58]

  • dougsmith42

    HELLO??? A DRUG by any other name is STILL A DRUG. What a LOSER…get rid of him!!
    Why does the NFL continue to tolerate such nonsense, when there are 1000’s of other players that play by the rules?

    • Mary

      Apparently you are unaware that there are legal reasons to use amphetamines – for instance, Von Miller is asthmatic, and his “emergency inhaler” contains a therapeutic dose and its use is sanctioned by the NFL. In addition, many OVER THE COUNTER allergy/cold drugs contain pseudoephedrine (which can be used in manufacturing methamphetamine – so those are often sold “behind the counter” with a limit to how many packages one can purchase). Night time cold/allergy medications and cough syrups also may contain an amazing percent of alcohol.

      The NFL’s 2010 Drug Policy (which doesn’t seem to have changed much since 2002 or earlier), states “The National Football League prohibits players from the illegal use, possession, or distribution of drugs, including but not limited to cocaine; marijuana; opiates and opioids; methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA); and phencyclidine (PCP). The abuse of prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and alcohol is also prohibited. For example, the use of amphetamines and substances that induce similar effects, absent a verified and legitimate need for appropriate dosages of such substances to treat existing medical conditions, is prohibited.”

      Apparently the NFL does understand that that there is a difference between abuse/illegal use and “legitimate need”.

  • sparkib

    He was set up…. I think it’s bs that this happened. Unfortunately he has no defense only his word, but if they can’t prove he was on drugs by choice, he’s innocent until proven guilty.

  • Denver Donkeyz

    I just hope a watchful eye is being put on every other team as well, remember, we LOST the Super Bowl. They have handed down at least 2 “off season” suspensions to us in the last week for recreational substance issues…. keep it coming NFL, fantasy teams everywhere are on notice!! Go get those horrible players, you know the ones having a beer or whatever…..

    • Mary

      If they suspended every team from the NFL that had a player who used illegal drugs, abused legal drugs (prescription or over the counter) or EVER got drunk (from preseason to post season), THERE WOULD BE NO NFL.

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