Jets' Le'Veon Bell rips NFL for 'random' HGH blood tests

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell ripped the NFL for its drug-testing policy, implying Wednesday that he's being unfairly targeted.

"I done had 5 'random' HGH blood test in 10 weeks," Bell tweeted, adding that he wants the league to concentrate on finding those who are violating the rules and to stop coming after him "with those dirty ass needles."

Later, speaking to reporters, Bell doubled down, saying he refuses to be tested again.

"They're not getting no more of my blood," he said. "They can use the blood they've got now."

By rule, a player can be tested up to six times in a calendar year. Reminded that he could be suspended by refusing a test, Bell backtracked.

"At the end of the day, if we have to cross that bridge when we get there, we'll cross that bridge when we get there," Bell said. "I'm saying right now, the way I feel today, when that tweet went out, that's how I feel.

"One, I don't like needles. I understand I've got to do it for my job or whatever. The first time we do it, I'm like, 'OK, the test is over. I'm done with the needles.' They do it again and I'm like, 'OK, I get it. They did it twice, I can do it twice.' But now it's three, four, five times. Now it's getting weird. It's getting weird now. Like, why do they need this much of my blood? What are they looking for?"

The former Pittsburgh Steelers star was suspended two games in 2014 after he was charged with marijuana possession and DUI. In 2016, he was suspended four games for missing a drug test.

Bell said he has no problem with urine tests.

"I can drop all day," Bell said. "If they want me to pee in a cup, I can do that all day. I just don't want needles. You can keep that away from me. I don't want nothing to do with needles."

The NFL isn't directly involved in the testing, according to a league spokesman. It's a collectively bargained policy between the NFLPA and the NFL, with a jointly appointed administrator running the program. Neither the NFL, the NFLPA nor any club directs the specific testing schedule or decides which players will be tested, the spokesman said.

Each week during the preseason and regular season, by means of a computer program, five players from eight randomly selected teams are picked for tests. Players are required to submit to testing whenever they are selected, without regard to the number of times they have previously been tested consistent with the policy.

"Is it random, though?" Bell asked. "I feel like every time they're here doing HGH testing, I get picked.

"I haven't been complaining too much until today. I'm like, 'Bro, we've been playing the season for 10 weeks and I've drug tested five times for HGH.' So, on average, that's one every two weeks, right? Every two weeks and y'all haven't found what you're looking for."

Bell said he was contacted by a representative from the NFLPA. He intimated that changes should be made in the next CBA.

"I understand they want to make sure everybody is playing fair and everybody is doing the right thing, but there's a certain fine line, you know what I'm saying?" Bell said. "I just feel like for 10 weeks, I got tested five times and they're not finding anything. I'm clean."

Jets coach Adam Gase said he was aware of Bell's tweet.

"[Bell] never said anything to me about it," Gase said. "It's something out of our control."

Statistically, Bell, 27, is having the worst season of his career. Playing behind a shaky offensive line, which has used six different lineup combinations, Bell has rushed for only 508 yards on 161 carries -- a 3.2 average.

Bell has 46 receptions, tied for second on the team. He has four touchdowns, tied for the team lead.

The Jets made Bell the centerpiece of their offseason spending spree, signing him to a four-year, $52.5 million contract that included $27 million in fully guaranteed money at signing.