Robert Mathis Admits Mistake

Indianapolis Colts linebacker Robert Mathis has been suspended by the NFL after he was found violating the league’s ban on performance enhancing substances. The 33-year-old was suspended for four games after he tested positive for the use of fertility drugs.

Mathis remarked he failed to check with the NFL or NFLPA to find out if the substance was on the suspended list. The linebacker remarked the union has worked very closely with me to present all of the facts and medical records for consideration of discipline that does not include a suspension because of the unique facts of my case, but the Commissioner refused the request. Mathis, who had been Indianapolis Colts’ best defender last season, had 19.5 sacks and eight forced fumbles in 2013. He was the runner-up to the Carolina Panthers’ Luke Kuechly for Defensive Player of the Year.

It is rumored that Mathis tested positive for Clomid, which is used for treating low sperm counts. In 2010, Cincinnati Reds pitcher Edinson Volquez was suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball for using male fertility drugs.

One of the team’s elder statesmen and most respected leaders, Mathis broke Dwight Freeney’s franchise career record for sacks and has 111 career sacks in 11 NFL seasons.

In a statement, Mathis said he is deeply saddened that this situation will prevent him from contributing to my team for four games, and he regrets that I didn’t cross check what his doctor told him before he took the medication. Mathis added he hopes that his fans will understand the unique circumstances involved here and continue to know that he is a man of integrity who would never intentionally circumvent the performance enhancing substance policy agreed to by the NFL and my union.

In a statement, Colts said we recognize the extreme seriousness of this matter and will honor the confidentiality requirements of the League’s program. It was added by the team that we nevertheless wish to assure Robert and our fans that he remains an honored and cherished member of the Colts family and that we support him as he deals with this difficult challenge. Mathis can make a return on September 29 and his team can have an exemption roster spot to replace him for the first four games.

The NFL said it was acknowledged by Mathis’s agent that his client failed to follow the protocols in the policy that the NFL and NFLPA agreed upon to address precisely these kinds of claims. The NFL added Mathis did not consult with the policy’s independent administrator, a physician jointly approved by the NFL and NFL Players Association nor did he consult with his team doctor, the team’s training staff, the NFLPA, the league office or the hotline established under the policy to give confidential information to players and each of these sources would have warned against using this substance. It was added that a cornerstone of the program is that a player is responsible for what is in his body and consistent application of the policy’s procedures is critical to the integrity of the program.

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