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Ram Players Have Orders From NFLPA Not to Submit to Post-Season Drug Tests

December 30, 1985|RICH ROBERTS

Carl Ekern, the Rams' player representative to the NFL Players' Assn., said he has advised his teammates not to submit to post-season drug testing, should the club request it.

Some members of the St. Louis Cardinals and New Orleans Saints already have been fined up to $1,000 each for refusing.

"Everything that I've been getting from the union and passing out to the players says that we, as players, should not allow management to do a urinalysis in the post-season physical," Ekern said. "I'm sure that's what the people in St. Louis were acting on. My understanding at this point is that the union is going to file a grievance.

"It's not clear in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (of 1982). Because it's not clear, the union is saying they can't and management is saying they can. They need to have something like that come up so they can get it cleared up (by going through) the grievance procedure.

"I tell our players, if they do it here, not to take it. There's no need to keep fining all 1,500 players in the league. There's a test case there (in St. Louis). Let's wait and see what happens."

Ekern, a nine-year veteran, said the Rams' customary post-season examination has never included a drug test.

"There is a situation set up for people who have a (drug) problem and want some help," he said. "I don't think you need to turn something like that into a witch hunt."

Ekern said that Gene Upshaw, NFLPA executive director, and Jack Donlan, NFL Management Council chief, anticipated this problem.

"They knew about this question in the summer or during the season (and), as far as I know, they met several times trying to work something out. Now they've locked horns on the issue, and it's going to be a long, drawn-out lawyer affair. Nobody needs that."

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