Even when others were suggesting he drop his case and accept his punishment, Richard Sherman never strayed from his loyal belief that his 4-game suspension would be overturned.
The Seahawks will now have one of the best young cornerbacks in the NFL available for the playoffs after Sherman won his appeal of a suspension for use of performance-enhancing substances. Football spreads
Gone is the lingering query about a possible suspension that hung over Sherman and the Seahawks for more than a month.
“I know what the truth is and anyone else who knows anything knows what the reality is. The truth has been told today,” Sherman declared. “People can say what they desire, there are always naysayers. I have great teammates and great coaches and great fans and that’s all I care about.”
The decision that was made by former NFL executive Bob Wallace came early last Thursday morning. Sherman was called by his lawyer and simply announced in the Seahawks locker room, “I won.”
A team already rolling on the field with 4 straight wins and an offensive output unmatched in the last half-decade of the NFL got even more good news.
“There was obviously a good amount of stress as you simply don’t know,” Sherman said. “You know how strong your case is, how strong everything is, although it was just great to get it over with.”
Sherman had voiced a wish to pursue his case further in court if the suspension hadn’t been overturned.
Sherman was steadfast since news broke of his pending suspension that he thought he would win on appeal. Sherman’s appeal was based totally on errors in the chain of custody of his urine sample and that there were mistakes made by the tester.
His appeal took place late last week in St. Louis.
A copy of Wallace’s decision was obtained by the press. In his explanation, Wallace writes the collection process of Sherman’s urine sample on September 17, the day after Seattle beat Dallas in Week Two, wasn’t ordinary.
According to the written decision, Sherman’s sample cup began leaking, to which the tester grabbed another cup and transferred the sample. Documentation of the leaking cup was not originally on the submitted report following the test and just when asked by a supervisor in October did the tester acknowledge the sample being transferred from the original cup.
The tester later gave testimony that he’d never experienced a leaking cup before, yet didn’t feel the situation rose to the level of having to be included on his report.
Wallace wrote the omission of the leaking cup from the report was a “big deal,” and that, “insuring a sample is collected correctly is the cornerstone of the program and when an event occurs that does not happen typically or the collector has never experienced while collecting the sample it is incumbent upon that collector to note what happened.”
“Accordingly, Mr. Sherman’s appeal is granted and the discipline is reversed,” Wallace wrote.
Sherman related when he got word on November 12 of the failed test he knew it had to do with the sample collected in September.