Apparently, the NFL is very unhappy with Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller.
Earlier today, news broke that Miller's pending four-game suspension will be increased to "at least six games." A few hours later, CBS' Vic Lombardi reported that Miller's original suspension stemmed from a diluted drug test.
Miller's first incident drew a four-game suspension. A second offense would tack on four more games. Miller is scheduled to visit with the league tomorrow, according to a Denver Post report. If that is the case, he will likely appeal to have this potential eight game suspension reduced to six weeks
As it turns out, Miller's second offense was also a diluted test, according to BleacherReport.com's Mike Freeman. Per Freeman, Miller's latest drug test was "extremely diluted" after Miller drank excessive amounts of water leading up to the test.
That is considered tampering and doing it twice in one offseason (if that was the case) is not taken lightly by the NFL. ESPN's Chris Mortenson reported that the league even discussed suspending Miller for the entire season.
The Broncos had no comment on the situation when we reached out to them earlier this morning.
"We haven't been aware of any of it," head coach John Fox said of the potential suspensions after practice today.
Broncos are furious that these Von suspension reports are getting out before they're notified. NFL hasn't told them anything.— Vic Lombardi (@VicLombardi) August 19, 2013
Fox noted that nothing will change on defense until any actual suspension(s) are announced by the NFL. In the meantime, Miller has been running with the first-team defense (Nate Irving has been the No. 2 SAM linebacker).
Re Von Miller suspension, two axioms appear to be in play: (1) everything is negotiable; and (2) there will be lawyers.— Andrew Brandt (@adbrandt) August 19, 2013
According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, no resolution is expected to come today and an appeal date is still to be set.
What I'm hearing on Von Miller: Highly, highly unlikely there is a resolution today. He believes in his innocence. And no appeal set yet.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 19, 2013
Nothing's official yet, and as Andrew Brandt has noted, the suspension(s) will be appealed and negotiated. NFL Network's Albert Breer added that a suspension is "very likely," but added that speaking in absolutes is a mistake. If Miller was in fact suspended for merely (allegedly) "diluting" a pair of tests, six-to-eight games seems to be a bit harsh.
Especially considering that drinking a lot of fluids and staying hydrated is vital for athletes. In June, MHR's Kyle Montgomery had a one-on-one interview with Miller, talking about, among other things, staying hydrated.
In the interview set up by Gatorade, one of Miller's sponsors, Montgomery asked eighteen questions and only a handful of them were hydration-related. Miller's answers included eight mentions of hydration, electrolytes, and nutrition. Staying hydrated is obviously important to Miller.
This may be why Miller was so adamant that he did nothing wrong and why the Broncos appeared confident that his suspension would be reduced after news of the original four-game suspension broke.
"Seeing reports about (a) four game suspension," Miller tweeted from his since-deleted Twitter account in July. "I know I did nothing wrong. I'm sure this'll be resolved fairly."
The diluted tests may have pissed off the NFL, but Miller has the right to have water in his system. Apparently the league feels Miller had too much H2O in his body when he was tested. Is that deserving of a six-game suspension? That's open for debate.