All-Pro defensive end Robert Mathis of the Indianapolis Colts has been suspended for the first four games of the 2014 season after he tested positive for the banned fertility drug Clomid.
The suspension will cost the NFL’s sack leader $US706,000 in lost salary according to Mike Chappell of IndyStar.com.
That is a huge penalty if Mathis’ excuse is to be believed.
Mathis’ agent, Hadley Englehard, was a guest on ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike” and explained that the drug was prescribed by a doctor to help his client’s wife become pregnant and wondered why some players are given therapeutic-use exemptions and his client is being treated so harshly.
“He used [the drug] for a short period of time, 10-12 days,” said Englehard. “Once he found out his wife was pregnant he stopped taking it. He has the leftover medication.”
Still, Mathis never consulted with the NFL and went solely on the word of the doctor that Clomid would not cause a problem with NFL drug testing.
In addition, there is scientific evidence that Clomid increases testosterone levels in men, which would be performance enhancing, even if it that was not the original intent.
It’s great that Mathis’ wife was able to get pregnant. However, to ask for leniency only after the positive test for a banned substance puts the NFL in a tough situation that would create a dangerous precedent.
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