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(NEW YORK) -- Indianapolis star linebacker Robert Mathis has been suspended for the first four games of the 2014 NFL season for violating the league's performance-enhancing substance policy. However, the drug which Mathis tested positive for is not a common one to football fans.
The linebacker was seeking fertility assistance and was reportedly told by the prescribing doctor that the drug would not cause a problem with the NFL.
"It is difficult for me to address the circumstances surrounding this suspension because they involve very personal medical information," said Mathis in a statement. "Like many families, my wife and I faced fertility challenges, and I sought medical assistance. I specifically asked the doctor if the medication he prescribed for me would present a problem for NFL drug testing, and unfortunately, he incorrectly told me that it would not. I made the mistake of not calling the NFL or NFLPA to double-check before I took the medication at the end of last season."
Mathis' mother, Denis White, was diagnosed with Stage 4 esophageal cancer in August of 2013. Wishing to give her another grandchild, Mathis sought out fertility help from Dr. Steven Morganstern in Atlanta. Due to a health condition that his wife, Brandi, suffers from, Dr. Morganstern advised Mathis begin taking the drug Clomid to help accelerate the process.
The 33-year old began taking the drug in November and stopped after finding out his wife was pregnant. The couple is expecting a baby girl in the fall and Mathis' mother is still alive.
"The drug for which Mr. Mathis tested positive is not approved by the FDA for fertility in males and is a performance-enhancing drug that has been prohibited for years," said a statement released by the NFL. "Importantly, Mr. 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. Each of these sources would have warned against using this substance."
Mathis was the league leader in the sacks in 2013, recording 19.5 in his 12th season. He is eligible to return on Sept. 29 following the Colts Sept. 28 meeting with Tennessee. Mathis is still eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason workouts, including team practices and games.
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