Indianapolis Colts linebacker Robert Mathis, who led the National Football League with 19 1/2 quarterback sacks last season, received a four-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy.
Mathis, 33, said the positive test was the result of a prescribed fertility medication. While Mathis said his doctor said the medication wouldn’t cause a problem for NFL drug testing, he didn’t contact the NFL or players’ union to double-check before taking it at the end of last season.
“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 said yesterday in a statement.
A five-time Pro Bowl selection, Mathis and his wife had twins in 2012 and learned -- shortly after he took the fertility medication -- they’ll have another baby this year.
Mathis will miss games against the Denver Broncos, Philadelphia Eagles, Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans. He’ll be eligible to return for the Oct. 5 game against the Baltimore Ravens.
“I hope that my fans will understand the unique circumstances involved here and continue to know that I am a man of integrity who would never intentionally circumvent the performance-enhancing substance policy agreed to by the NFL and my union,” Mathis said.