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Former Broncos OLB Randy Gregory sues NFL, team for discrimination, alleges more than $500,000 in fines for THC use

Former Broncos pass-rusher Randy Gregory has filed a lawsuit against the NFL and team claiming discrimination for being fined more than $500,000 in the past year-plus for taking medications for disabilities that include THC.

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In the complaint filed in Arapahoe County District Court on Wednesday, a copy of which was obtained by The Denver Post, Gregory claims he was prescribed Dronabinol to help address social anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. While NFL players are no longer suspended for testing positive for THC, it is still a banned substance by the league and positive tests are subject to fine.

Though the Broncos are named in the suit, they do not play a role in the administration of fines to players connected to drug testing. The club complies with the NFL’s protocols on drug testing and enforcement of the rules under the collective bargaining agreement between the league and the NFL Players Association.

The Broncos declined comment when contacted by The Post on Thursday evening. The NFL has not returned a request for comment.

“This is a serious effort by Randy to push the NFL forward on alternative methods for pain management options,” Gregory’s agent, Peter Schaffer, told The Post. “If a doctor prescribes hydrocodone, that’s completely legal and much worse for the player, yet the player doesn’t get suspended or fined. Randy’s not trying to buck the system, but he’s paying $500,000 in fines for something that anybody else in the state of Colorado can do. All we want is reasonable accommodation to allow Randy to treat his disabilities at the direction of his treating physician.”

The lawsuit, filed by attorney Spencer Kontik of Kontnik Cohen, claims Gregory requested an accommodation and didn’t receive it from the league.

He first sought permission in March 2023 from the Broncos and NFL to use Dronabinol during non-work hours and was denied.

In May 2023, Schaffer requested a therapeutic use exception and Gregory was again denied.

Gregory, according to the complaint, has been fined $532,500 for repeated positive THC tests since March 2023. The suit does not make clear exactly how many times Gregory was fined or what percentage of those fines came during his time with the Broncos. Players who test positive for THC are first fined a half-week’s salary but the penalty escalates with subsequent positive tests to, eventually, three weeks’ salary.

The suit claims that the league and club’s unwillingness to provide Gregory what it calls reasonable accommodation due to his diagnosed disabilities is discriminatory under Colorado law and Gregory is seeking damages. Gregory was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder in 2021 and post-traumatic stress disorder in February 2023. Gregory was granted a right to sue by the Colorado Civil Rights Division in March after filing discrimination charges against the NFL and the Broncos in July 2023.

Gregory has long been open about his social anxiety. He was also suspended multiple times earlier in his career for repeated violations of the NFL’s drug policy. He was suspended for 14 games of the 2016 season and all of the 2017 and 2019 seasons as a member of the Dallas Cowboys. He was also suspended in 2018 and 2020.

Gregory signed a five-year contract with $28 million guaranteed with the Broncos in March 2022 but ended up playing in only 10 games for the franchise. He missed a wide swath of the 2022 season with a knee injury and then was traded to the San Francisco 49ers in October 2023 after Denver signaled its intent to release the veteran player. He now plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after signing a one-year deal there in April.

Gregory totaled 21 tackles and three sacks in Denver



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