Josh Gordon to challenge suspension, claiming secondhand smoke, testing irregularities

Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon is facing a year-long suspension for substance abuse violations. However, he has an appeal scheduled for Friday, and is preparing a spirited defense.

Among Gordon’s defenses:

• The positive test which flagged Gordon was from the exact same specimen that also had a B sample test negative. The A sample showed 16 nanograms per millileter; the threshold for failure is 15 nanograms. The B sample, from the same specimen, was 13.63 nanograms per millileter. Had the B sample been the first one tested, Gordon would have passed the test.

• The readings were the result of secondhand smoke, according to Gordon’s attorneys, which is not a punishable offense under the NFL’s rules. In addition, the samples would not have tested positive under the testing guidelines of the Olympics and Major League Baseball, among other sporting entities.

• Finally, attorneys will note that Gordon has been tested over 70 times since his rookie year, with only one test coming back positive. Even that test, attorneys will contend, had differing A and B samples.

The NFL’s response? “You are responsible for what’s in your body,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told cleveland.com. “That’s always been a cornerstone of our drug-testing programs.” Gordon is facing an indefinite suspension because he is in Stage III of the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.

Gordon was arrested this summer on DWI charges, but that has no impact on this suspension and will not be considered in the appeal. Last year, he was suspended for two games and fined four games’ worth of pay for another positive drug test. At the time, he claimed it was as a result of codeine in his cough medicine.

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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Facebook or on Twitter.

Arian Foster breaks silence by answering 11 questions the same way

Houston Texans running back Arian Foster has been holding a media boycott, of sorts, this year. And, even though he stopped to talk on Wednesday, he practically still is on the media boycott.

Foster, known as a thoughtful player through his previous interviews and Twitter feed, hadn’t talked at the Texans’ facility all spring or summer, CSN Houston said. He took 11 questions on Wednesday and watch how he answered every one:

 

Yep, he reiterated he’s trying to be the best teammate he can be 11 straight times, no matter if the question had anything to do with that or not.

[Smack talk season is back at Yahoo Sports: seemingly parroted O’Brien in media settings. Maybe it’s one big inside joke, or a bit of a shot at O’Brien or … well who knows.

All we really know is that Foster is really, really, really determined to be the best teammate he can be.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

The 10-man rotation, starring how Lionel Hollins’ Brooklyn Nets might look

A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It’s also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren’t always listed in order of importance. That’s for you, dear reader, to figure out.

C: The Brooklyn Game, twice. Ryan Carbain looks at how Lionel Hollins’ offensive and defensive systems line up with the personnel he inherits with the Brooklyn Nets, and how things might need to change as Hollins gets comfortable in Barclays Center.

PF: Nylon Calculus. Jacob Rosen makes the statistical argument for Kevin Garnett being one of the more transformative offensive players in recent NBA history.

SF: The Cauldron. Jim Cavan looks at the lack of interest in Greg Monroe in restricted free agency — similar to the quiet surrounding fellow RFA Eric Bledsoe — and sees a deep and depressing connection with the Detroit Pistons’ big man’s adopted city: “Like the broken gray Gotham he represents, Greg Monroe’s game was built to last, until somehow it suddenly wasn’t.”

SG: Bucksketball. The Milwaukee Bucks could have thrown a big-time offer sheet at Bledsoe, but it appears they won’t. Should they have, though? Jeremy Schmidt and K.L. Chouinard consider what kind of difference the explosive two-way guard might have made for new head coach Jason Kidd.

PG: Sports Illustrated. With Kevin Love trade talk continuing to percolate, Rob Mahoney revisits a handful of recent trades involving superstars to remind us all of the inescapable risk that comes along with engineering the exit of an elite talent.

6th: Upside and Motor. It seems unlikely that Harrison Barnes will ever live up to the “next LeBron James” or “next Kobe Bryant” hype that attended him going out of high school and briefy at North Carolina. But Sam Vecenie wonders: Could he become the next Joe Johnson?

7th: Memphis Commercial Appeal. Chris Herrington’s always great Pick-and-Pop column takes a look at which teams in the West are trending up, trending down or standing pat (which, in a conference this brutal, tends to mean you’re trending down).

8th: NBA.com. David Aldridge looks at how Canada Basketball has grown over the years, and how the rise of talents like back-to-back No. 1 draft picks Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins have Canada expecting big things in upcoming international competitions.

9th: Wall Street Journal. Ben Cohen and Andrew Beaton on how the relationship between LeBron James and David Blatt might be just as beneficial for the four-time MVP as it is for the new Cleveland Cavaliers head coach: “Everything he learned overseas, his former players and colleagues say, gives Blatt an edge in today’s NBA and fits James’s game in particular.”

10th: Salt City Hoops. Clint Johnson poses an interesting question: With all the talk about how the Utah Jazz want to emulate the San Antonio Spurs’ roster-building and management model, doesn’t maxing out to max Gordon Hayward’s offer sheet mark a fairly significantly divergence from that path?

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Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

Stay connected with Ball Don’t Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL, “Like” BDL on Facebook and follow BDL’s Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.

VOD: Florida State freshmen release ridiculous music video

What would the college football offseason be without some players trying to rap?

Four Florida State freshmen – Demarcus Christmas, Derrick Nnadi, Jacob Pugh and Lorezno Featherston – put their rap skills on display and dropped a track called “Gotta Make it to the Top” on Tuesday, and it’s, well, interesting.

Apparently it’s a parody of this viral YouTube video that I did not know existed until about four minutes ago. The song is jam-packed with mumbled lyrics, out-of-tune singing and the video has lots of shiny lights and slow-motion and sunglasses. I suggest you watch it if you’re into those things.

If you take it for what it is – a joke – you’ll enjoy it. But I’m sure there will be some fans out there who take issue with these kids having a bit of fun during the offseason.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be doing everything I can to get the song out of my head.

For more Florida State news, visit Warchant.com.

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Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

Bulls’ Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose urge Chicago residents to ‘stand up’ in anti-violence PSA (Video)

That’s the first in a series of 60-second public service announcements produced by Joakim Noah’s charitable organization imploring Chicago residents to come together and stem the rising tide of violence that has swept away dozens of lives this summer.

The Chicago Bulls center introduced the “Chicago, Stand Up” campaign at a youth-focused event at a community center in the city’s Near West Side section held Friday, the day before his Noah’s Arc Foundation hosted a basketball tournament for 18- to 24-year-old men from different parts of Chicago aimed at emphasizing messages of peace, unity, competition and togetherness. (The Friday event also included Noah playfully swatting young fans’ shots, as befits his status as the NBA’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year.)

“This Peace Tournament at the United Center is very, very special to me,” Noah said, according to Blake Schuster of the Chicago Tribune. “Sports are something that unites people. To be able to do that where we play and compete every day is special.”

While the tournament was a one-day event, the PSAs — which are narrated by rapper/actor Common and feature Noah alongside his Bulls teammate Derrick Rose, young people from the city and a variety of community activists — will continue to air. Noah hoping that with enough passionate repetition and substantive action, the message — to turn away from violence and retribution, and to turn toward more positive pursuits, whether they be athletic, artistic, professional or otherwise — will be heard.

“The summer months bring a lot of violence, and we felt it was urgent to get this PSA out now in order to bring some hope, change and support to the community,” Noah said, according to Maudlyne Ihejirika of the Chicago Sun-Times.

More tangible efforts will be needed to quell the violence that has resulted in 222 homicides in the city in 2014 thus far, according to RedEye Chicago. Getting your arms around a problem so daunting, so pervasive, isn’t easy, but Noah remains committed to doing what he can to get the ball rolling. From Jon Greenberg of ESPN Chicago:

“This city has given me so much, it’s hard to know what’s really going on a couple blocks from here,” on the West Side, Noah said. “The South Side is close. This is where I live. I live in Chicago now. I just want to do my best. I don’t know all the answers. At the end of the day, I just want to go out there and help, because this is just as important to me as winning a championship.” [...]

“It’s not about legacy, it’s not about none of that,” Noah said. “I don’t care about that. It’s about helping people. At the end of the day, that, to me, is bigger than basketball.

Here’s more on the PSA unveiling from CBS 2 in Chicago:

Hat-tip to For the Win.

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Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

Stay connected with Ball Don’t Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL, “Like” BDL on Facebook and follow BDL’s Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.