Wes Welker is taking the Pete Rose approach to the news that he’s been suspended by the NFL for taking amphetamines–or, in club kid lingo, a Molly. He’s just denying it. For now. (For years Rose famously denied betting on baseball, before changing his tune.) The league asserts that Welker tested positive for amphetamines, an ingredient in the popular drug Ecstasy, just after he attended the Kentucky Derby in May. Welker, the undersized Denver Broncos receiver who is quarterback Peyton Manning’s favorite passing target, took a pass on admitting he swallowed anything other than mint juleps. “I wouldn’t have any idea where to get a Molly or what a Molly is,” Welker said. “I don’t do any drugs.”
Welker wrote to the Denver Post that “I would NEVER knowingly take a substance to gain a competitive advantage in any way.” Nobody is arguing that taking Ecstasy at the Kentucky Derby is performance enhancing–though Welker did win a lot of money that day–so, if true, it may enhance gambling acumen! Welker called the league’s drug testing policy flawed. The NFL’s motivations are unlikely to be sinister: the league would hardly want to force one of the most popular players on one of its most popular teams to sit out the first four games of the season on empty charges. But even if the charges are wrong and Welker’s denial is accurate, the four games off–given Welker’s precarious health due to multiple concussions–could inadvertently save the young man years of future mental agony.