New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman is facing a four-game suspension under the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. By his own admission, he also said he was unsure of how the positive test happened. Apparently, the league’s drug testing experts might share some of Edleman’s curiosity.

According to Albert Breer of, Edelman’s result was ‘triggered by a substance that wasn’t immediately recognizable.’ Breer also reported that the drug testers are still analyzing it.

There is precedent for the drug testers to need time to identify the substance for which a player tests positive. As noted by NBC Sports Boston, four Oakland Raiders players tested positive for tetrahydrogestrinone (THG) in 2003.  This was not a substance that was initially detectable in urine tests. It was only after the lengthy Balco investigation that drug testers re-tested stored urine samples and detected the substance.

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Breer reported that Edelman’s test took place a couple months ago, during the offseason. Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith indicated that it was unlikely that the substance was a stimulant, such as Adderall. Use of stimulants in the regular season is considered a performance-enhancing substance issue, but during the offseason it’s considered a substance abuse issue.

-Mike D’Abate is a Managing Editor and National Columnist for Full Press Coverage Sports Media. He covers the NFL and the New England Patriots. Follow him on Twitter @mdabateFPC.

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