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Robert Mathis’s agent calls suspension “unjust and unfair”

Mathis Getty Images

The agent for Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis is criticizing NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after Mathis was suspended four games for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing substances.

“The league and Commissioner Goodell have taken a stance that puts Robert under some strict scrutiny,” agent Hadley Englehard said on SportsCenter. “That is really unjust and unfair.”

According to Englehard, Mathis simply took a fertility drug because he and his wife decided they wanted to give his mother another grandchild after learning that she has cancer. That fertility drug (which Englehard did not name, but is reportedly Clomid) is on the list of banned substances, but Englehard said an exception should be made for a player who took the drug for a medical reason, without realizing it was banned. Englehard said Goodell had access to Mathis’s medical data and to a sworn statement from Mathis’s doctor but was unwilling to make any kind of exception.

“We have given him all the medical data,” Englehard said. “We are just amazed that the commissioner and the NFL have put this kind of punishment on Robert.”

Englehard acknowledged that “There’s not much recourse left,” and Mathis is apparently going to have to accept the four-game suspension. Even if he doesn’t like it.

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89 Responses to “Robert Mathis’s agent calls suspension “unjust and unfair””
  1. jbutina says: May 16, 2014 6:17 PM

    seems like those necessary fertility pills sure helped on the sack front!! . . . i wish the league would disclose the actual test results . . . i don’t believe any of these excuses!! He sure looked like he was on something last year!!

  2. u4iadman says: May 16, 2014 6:17 PM

    New commissioner is needed desperately.

  3. goodtogo28 says: May 16, 2014 6:17 PM

    Englehard acknowledged that “There’s not much recourse left,” and Mathis is apparently going to have to accept the four-game suspension.

    looks like not only mathis but his agent is shooting blanks as well.

  4. thegreatgabbert says: May 16, 2014 6:17 PM

    ..and uncomprehensible.

  5. agcooney108 says: May 16, 2014 6:18 PM

    It’s a sad and heartwarming story for Mathis, but it’s honestly not hard to talk to your team trainers and doctors about what and what not put in their bodies. These players never learn, this is actually a good example of the penalty, maybe they will all wake up and be more open to their team doctors and trainers.

  6. jtk1985 says: May 16, 2014 6:19 PM

    The league keeps telling these players “know what you are putting in your body” and that there are “no exceptions made” when it comes to banned substances and yet they continue to act outraged when they are suspended.

  7. radiofriendly420 says: May 16, 2014 6:19 PM

    Anyone else think Goodell is a loser?

  8. bennyb82 says: May 16, 2014 6:20 PM

    If this is really the reason he took it then that is really unfortunate. The problem is that every time someone tests positive, it is because of something or someone else. These guys know what is on the list of banned substances. If you’re trying to have a kid, then I bet there is some sort of way to file paperwork to allow the fertility drug to be in your system for a limited time. I guess the problem might be that 90 percent of the league ends up trying to increase the odds of getting someone pregnant.

  9. 4thquartermagic says: May 16, 2014 6:20 PM

    Wether it’s to enhance the power of your junk or to ease the pain (weed) the NFL needs to get with the times with drug restrictions.

  10. ketch20too says: May 16, 2014 6:21 PM

    Clomid…the new adderall

  11. teedraper says: May 16, 2014 6:22 PM

    This is exactly the reason why HGH testing hasn’t been agreed to. The idiot Goddell really wants the “dell” part off of his name.

  12. d0minate says: May 16, 2014 6:24 PM

    just because they are saying to the media that is what the suspension is for, doesn’t mean that is what he tested positive for.

    that being said.. welcome to the NFL

  13. Punk says: May 16, 2014 6:24 PM

    An exception might have been made, but he didn’t ask for one BEFORE he took it.

  14. greenbaydean says: May 16, 2014 6:24 PM

    It’s pretty simple. He took Clomid and it’s on the banned list. I’m pretty sure it’s banned for a reason. Suck it up, stop complaining and serve your penalty.

  15. hakunamangata says: May 16, 2014 6:26 PM

    The agent who represents Mathis’ interests is upset with a suspension? I’m shocked.

    Next thing you’ll tell me is Haslem is upset about Gordon’s pending suspension!

  16. toad8572 says: May 16, 2014 6:27 PM

    Clomid limits the production of estrogen thus allowing the produced testosterone a marked advantage. Not an anabolic, but easy to see why it’s banned.

  17. ramitbaby says: May 16, 2014 6:27 PM

    Hey Colts. Give us a 3rd rounder and you can have Michael Sam.

  18. truthfactory says: May 16, 2014 6:27 PM

    Im a Colts fan and I DONT BUY IT!!!

    How many people use these types of excuses??? If you’re going to put something like that in your body its very simple…check with the league!! Why would you assume you’d be fine???

    This excuse has been used 100 times and if you havent learned, then thats on you. You deserve to be suspended 8 games for being so ignorant!

  19. etyaps says: May 16, 2014 6:28 PM

    Got suspended for CLOMID, which is commonly used by steroid users after their steroid “cycle” to restore natural test levels

  20. dirtdawg54 says: May 16, 2014 6:30 PM

    Mathis deserves the penalty simply for being dumb enough not to know that shooting yourself with a known steroid that boosts testosterone would be a problem.

  21. chargerz4life says: May 16, 2014 6:30 PM

    Clomid is also used when coming off of a cycle of steroids to bring testosterone levels back to normal, hence why it is on the listed of banned substances.

  22. h0c2000 says: May 16, 2014 6:33 PM

    Did he want twins?

  23. beardinals says: May 16, 2014 6:36 PM

    Note to players: Don’t take ANYTHING before clearing it with the league.

    Seems simple enough.

  24. johnnyquick says: May 16, 2014 6:36 PM

    Goodell, the creature from hell!

  25. wojowbk says: May 16, 2014 6:37 PM

    There is no way he took Clomid for “fertility” reasons. Clomid is taken by women for to boost fertility. Clomid is widely taken in the bodybuilding world as a post cycle therapy drug that restores your testosterone levels and binds estrogen to prevent gynecomastia (also known as man boobs).

    He was definitely on something and they caught him before he was done with his cycle.

  26. montanapredator says: May 16, 2014 6:41 PM

    If truly a fertility situation, fine. Get your MD to talk to NFL, get your outraged agent to earn the money he is and has made off of you to do the most basic homework. These guys make millions, pay millions to their agents, PR hacks, trainers, etc. How can they be so stupid?

  27. glenuendo says: May 16, 2014 6:41 PM

    And yet, Jim Irsay is back in the office working. Oh the irony.

  28. sagnam says: May 16, 2014 6:46 PM

    Get the exception before taking the banned substance.

  29. guitarmaninks says: May 16, 2014 6:46 PM

    How hard would it be to print the latest ban list and bring it with you anytime you go to the doctor? The exception being the ER

  30. ajpowden says: May 16, 2014 6:49 PM

    Commish comes off as a real ass here. The full statement made by Mathis is very classy. As a Denver fan with season tickets, the season opener will be less entertaining now.

  31. bobsnygiants says: May 16, 2014 6:50 PM

    take Goodell to court , he is a lousy commissioner

  32. bigdaddy44 says: May 16, 2014 6:50 PM

    Mathis is full of it! Every player knows that anytime he takes a new drug given to him by a physician outside of football, that he needs to do his due diligence and get it checked against the banned substance list. Even if taken for the reasons stated, he needed to get an exception BEFORE taking this drug. The uptick last year in the performance of this aging player screams PED use. His cry of injustice now was planned by him long ago, knowing that he could be caught and wanting to protect his reputation by painting himself a victim. Let’s just call Mathis’ contrived arguments what they really are – B.S.!!!!

  33. titansbro says: May 16, 2014 6:52 PM

    Yet Irsay had a pharmacy in his car (& system) & still hasn’t been punished.

  34. officialgame says: May 16, 2014 6:53 PM

    Total BS. These guys get a list of substances, and are told 1000 times in a 1000 different ways if they have any doubts to check with the team doctors or trainers. He also could have requested a medical exemption if his story was true. But it isn’t and its never the players fault and there’s always an excuse.

  35. competitivecompetitioncompeter says: May 16, 2014 6:53 PM

    He’s not suspended for taking a fertility drug, he’s suspended for a REPEAT violation of the PED policy.

    How much sympathy am I supposed to have again?

  36. thebirdofprey2 says: May 16, 2014 6:55 PM

    Clomid is the main drug for PCT after a PED Cycle.

  37. Lord Oswald Bupkis III says: May 16, 2014 6:57 PM

    Is this the same agent that wrote Mathis’ statement/excuse?

  38. thraiderskin says: May 16, 2014 6:58 PM

    What r people defending? He CHEATED! The rules are plain as day… he took a banned substance and now he is trying to play some sympathy card. Cheater all day, odd how he gets popped after having a career season.

  39. dagator8888 says: May 16, 2014 6:58 PM

    So, if you make an exception here, who would you not make an exception for….because, it is never the players fault! The league does not play gotcha. Everyone knows what is banned and if you don’t know, find out before you take something. Obviously, this is not Mathis’s first time being caught. He is a repeat offender.

  40. uwsptke says: May 16, 2014 7:04 PM

    Clomid was also the same drug Manny Ramirez tested positive for.

  41. selgaeinla says: May 16, 2014 7:06 PM

    And you wonder why the NFLPA won’t sign a HGH testing agreement with gestapo Goodell handling punishments.

  42. johnelwayishorsefaced says: May 16, 2014 7:09 PM

    No it isn’t unjust or unfair. It’s 100% his responsibility to know whats he’s putting into his body and to not ingest substances on the banned list. I’m sure there are more than a few doctors out there who, for the right amount of money, would be willing to lie for a player if the player knew he could get out of a suspension that way. Making no exceptions to the rule eliminates that possibility.
    Also what a weird reason to have a kid. So his mom can have another grandchild? Not because the couple themselves wanted another child?

  43. ppdoc13 says: May 16, 2014 7:10 PM

    Clomid is almost never used for men. And if they found it, it is because he was coming off a steroid burst. I may have prescribed Clomid once in 20 years as a urologist.

  44. thestrategyexpert says: May 16, 2014 7:10 PM

    Sounds like Englehard is the loser here. He’s the only person in this story that is going to walk away having learned nothing.

  45. dg0122 says: May 16, 2014 7:16 PM

    this is not on gooddell…mathis tried to juice up, got caught, his agent came up with some Oprah-esque feel-good excuse and gooddell wouldnt let the BS fly

  46. CrownsDownFootball420 says: May 16, 2014 7:17 PM

    Still waiting on that Irsay punishment….

  47. ajas95 says: May 16, 2014 7:18 PM

    The whole POINT of fertility drugs is to increase sack production.

  48. mikelitoris1 says: May 16, 2014 7:18 PM

    wojowbk says:
    May 16, 2014 6:37 PM
    There is no way he took Clomid for “fertility” reasons. Clomid is taken by women for to boost fertility. Clomid is widely taken in the bodybuilding world as a post cycle therapy drug that restores your testosterone levels and binds estrogen to prevent gynecomastia (also known as man boobs).

    He was definitely on something and they caught him before he was done with his cycle.
    ——————————————————————————————-

    Believe me, I’m anything but a Goodell fan, but he got this one right. I’ve been a member of bodybuilding forums for years and clomid always comes up as part of a steroid user’s normal PCT cycle. Wojowbk is right on with his post.

    Unfortunately for Mathis, I’ve heard every excuse in the book when these guys finally get caught flunking a drug test and his excuse is laughable at best.

  49. simplec72 says: May 16, 2014 7:20 PM

    4thquartermagic says:
    May 16, 2014 6:20 PM
    Wether it’s to enhance the power of your junk or to ease the pain (weed) the NFL needs to get with the times with drug restrictions.
    ———————————————————————————–
    Yup… So when a qb goes down to injury he can just come over to the sideline and get a shot so he does not feel a thing… Or his body. Every player should get hyped up on crack before a game as well. No need to have mini camps or a gym. Just hand out steroid shots like candy. Your right, the league, and the United States need to get with the times.

  50. binkystevens says: May 16, 2014 7:27 PM

    I’m just baffled that the doctors would knowingly prescribe this stuff to NFL players

  51. riverhorsey says: May 16, 2014 7:27 PM

    Comparing the Irsay situation to Mathis is not only silly it’s stupid.

  52. slaugin says: May 16, 2014 7:30 PM

    Wait…People actually believe this line of B.S. That this agent is feeding us? C’mon guys we as a society should be smarter than this.

  53. mrfrostyj says: May 16, 2014 7:31 PM

    Think about this. How unbelievable does his story have to be if Josh Gordon got LESS of a suspension last year for the SAME THING (then again Gordon did provide a prescription for the medicine that verified his story resulting in the reduced suspension).

    I’m pretty sure that printout from “Web MD” doesn’t count as “providing medical data” Robert.

  54. nomoreseasontix says: May 16, 2014 7:38 PM

    He should know better. They all have some excuse.
    With that being said, Goodell is still an A__-hat. We know that.

  55. tmdill18 says: May 16, 2014 7:39 PM

    Big Colts fan and big Mathis fan. But I have to admit that it doesn’t add up. I’m just not buying the fertility excuse. Very disappointing.

  56. dukeblue12 says: May 16, 2014 7:39 PM

    Your body is your livelihood. You should be 1000% sure you know what you’re putting in it at all times.

    I’m actually sympathetic to Mathis’ story, but you have to double check. If the drug is on the list of banned substances, “I didn’t know” doesn’t cut it.

  57. Ground Chuck says: May 16, 2014 7:47 PM

    As a Broncos fan: YES!!!!

  58. kamthechancellor says: May 16, 2014 7:47 PM

    Clomid is a post cycle therapy for steroids.

  59. clintblairjr says: May 16, 2014 7:55 PM

    Well Clomid increases Testosterone in men at super high levels, therefore he should of not been allowed to take it during the season. He is older and in decline of testosterone. I highly doubt he thought he wouldnt gain from boosted t!

  60. PriorKnowledge says: May 16, 2014 7:56 PM

    I don’t believe that for even one second…. He juiced up and got caught: That is what happened.

  61. keltictim says: May 16, 2014 7:56 PM

    What the heck is wrong with you people? Goddell didn’t take a banned substance, goddell didn’t come up with a terrible excuse for taking said banned substance. What kind of human being puts a failed drug test on his dying grandmother? Unreal. If he was honestly trying to get his wife pregnant, he would have asked his doctor/agent to get him an exemption for the fertility drugs. This isn’t a rookie we are talking about Mathis has been in the league long enough to know how this works. Especially with a drug that is in effect a synthetic testosterone. I just lost any ounce of respect I had for Mathis, dude is pond scum.

  62. skinsfan91 says: May 16, 2014 7:59 PM

    BS. These don’t make mistakes like this. Too much money on the line. He cheated, he got caught.

  63. nrns77 says: May 16, 2014 8:00 PM

    To all the idiots who think he was “merely taking a fertility drug”: Clomid in men increases testosterone, one of the biggest performance-enhancing substances out there, if not THE biggest. Imagine having the intelligence and experience of a 33 year old with the testosterone and energy of a 17 year old.

    Yeah, do you get it now, idiots?

  64. mrlaloosh says: May 16, 2014 8:12 PM

    19 1/2 sacks and a new baby. PEDs for sure. Call it what u want but he was juiced up.

  65. clashpoint says: May 16, 2014 8:25 PM

    Y’know whether he’s lying or not, if I were an NFL player, I’d be scared to take darn near anything. I trust Goodell absolutely zero these days. I know for SURE that guy lies through his teeth.

  66. mtrhead269 says: May 16, 2014 8:36 PM

    Robert just admit that you used the fertility drug as a masking agent when you came off your cycle, just like every other steroid abuser. 19.5 sacks, amazing how you sack total increased last year when you were using illegal drugs

  67. davidm1886 says: May 16, 2014 8:40 PM

    Apparently clomid is used by guys who are coming off a steroid cycle. When coming off a steroid cycle your body doesn’t produce enough testosterone and clomid is used for about 6 weeks until testosterone production becomes normalized

  68. djkush2014 says: May 16, 2014 8:51 PM

    Love the PED user lies. “I didn’t know what was in my GNC powder, I should have read the label, I am responsible…”, and now this lame excuse. I am a physician- no doctor would have told him this would not affect his PED testing. It raises testosterone and it jump starts our own testosterone production after steroids shut it down. Same thing Manny Ramirez did. And the BS about the blessing of a child after all this unfortunate unjust punishment to tug at our heartstrings. Liar. Nice timing with his record season.

  69. tattooit says: May 16, 2014 8:54 PM

    ROIDS

  70. joerevs300 says: May 16, 2014 9:02 PM

    Memo to Mathis’ agent:

    Next time, maybe advise your client to call the NFL and ask them “IS “X” prescription on the banned list???” instead of pissing and bemoaning the “unfair” NFL which made YOU a millionaire instead of masquerading as a NFL blogging hack ;)

  71. 4thandlonger says: May 16, 2014 9:04 PM

    If he was an Olympic athlete he’d get 2 years and be disgraced publicly.

    In the NFL he gets 4 weeks.

    You can not break the rules and make excuses later. The banned drugs list is readily available and you should check everything you are taking with the team doctor and NFL medical advisors.

    Stupidity is not an excuse.

    4 weeks is a light suspension.

  72. timpiker says: May 16, 2014 9:13 PM

    I quit buying these bs excuses a long time ago

  73. raysfan1 says: May 16, 2014 10:15 PM

    1) Players can get therapeutic use exemptions–the player has to ask before using. The players and agents all know this.
    2) The banned substances list is ready available to all the players and agents. There is no excuse for not knowing what’s on it.
    3) Clomid is used to boost natural testosterone production after completing a steroid cycle, thus its inclusion on the banned substances list.

    Mathis may well have used the medication for the reason he states, but it is banned for good reason–and he has no leg to stand on since he did not follow the procedure to get his use of it approved.

  74. gbatap says: May 16, 2014 10:17 PM

    For the people who want to believe him and give him the benefit of the doubt, remember, 4 game suspensions are stage 2 of this banned substance policy.

  75. johnelwayishorsefaced says: May 16, 2014 10:17 PM

    This has absolutely nothing to do with Irsay. Enough with those idiotic comparisons. Irsay isn’t a player who got caught using PEDs he’s an owner who got a DUI. Not a comparable situation.

  76. raiderfan77 says: May 16, 2014 10:33 PM

    Has anyone ‘tarnished the shield’ more than Roger Goodell?

  77. uglydingo says: May 16, 2014 10:51 PM

    Mathis may be telling the truth, but drug testing rules have to be non-negotiable. Players are educated to always ask to check re any substance entering their system. Mathis is an experienced veteran – he would have heard the protocol speech over 20 times that he needs to ask.
    The penalty suspension should not be reduced just for him. Have pleasure that your wife is pregnant but this story should further reinforce the message of players should check before taking any substances.

  78. sumkat says: May 16, 2014 10:51 PM

    Eh, not buying the whole “he didn’t know it was banned” stuff anymore. Maybe 10 years ago. enough guys have had that happen to them, that I just don’t believe any professional athlete is taking ANY drug without checking if they are OK with the league taking it or not.

    I also find it hard to believe the NFL would not grant an exception for a fertility drug, if they were notified in advance.

    Not saying his side of the story can’t be true, just saying it’s highly suspect

  79. deacon85 says: May 16, 2014 11:17 PM

    I despise Roger Goodell, but Mathis doesn’t have much of a case here. I suppose it’s possible that Mathis’s story is true and he really wasn’t taking it as a PED. But is it credible, given the warnings that NFL get every year about knowing every medication they take? Doesn’t seem credible to me.

  80. phinfanatic84 says: May 16, 2014 11:44 PM

    As a man who did steroids for most his early and mid 20’s, I can attest that I did use Clomid and occasionally Nolvadex numerous times as part of my PCT (Post Cycle Therapy) and it does bind up (stop production of) estrogen and kick start your body’s natural testosterone production which gets suppressed or in a lot of cases, shut down completely from steriods. Without taking a good PCT, you’re going to end up losing most of your gains from your cycle and deal with gyno (aka man boobs).

    That being said, it is also prescribed to both men and women for fertility. Clomid increases sperms count in men with low sperms counts (who usually have low testosterone levels) and it also improves sperm quality (mobility). The success rate for men seeing any benefits in fertility from taking Clomid is only about a third of the success rate for women. I doubt his doctor would prescribe him Clomid but it’s definitely not out of the question.

    For those young knuckleheads thinking of doing a cycle… save your money because the long term effects are not worth the short term results.. just eat clean, buy good protein like the ones sold on ProteinFactory.com, not the stuff that is loaded with fillers and do all of the compound exercises that put your body under a lot stress (squats, dead lifts, bench, dips, military press, pull up’s, clean & press, etc). Get your sleep and don’t over train. I’ve torn my rotor cuff (required surgery), messed up my right shoulder, had my knee start popping and clicking as I walk and had a ligament tear off of my wrist that required surgery I know every one of these issues is a result of steriods because I had tremendous gains in the weight room and my body just couldn’t keep up.

    Now I’m 37 and almost 38 and get out of bed like a 50 year old man every morning. Quality of life and being able to actually play with your kids with out popping Advil is much more important than clubbing and crushing college chicks.

  81. tmatic74 says: May 17, 2014 12:21 AM

    All these players give the same “I had no idea” story but this guy said he did it for his grandmother. How low can you go!!! Their should be a extra two game suspension for telling a lie with your grandmother being referenced.

  82. ncnavguy says: May 17, 2014 1:02 AM

    Outraged? I’d be outraged too if I were Mathis, outraged at my steroid guy for giving me such an obvious post cycle drug as Clomid, I mean what is his paying him for!

  83. kenstabler says: May 17, 2014 8:02 AM

    He should have just came out and said he is gay, then the NFL would not touch him, and he would get a reality series and a presidential award.

  84. higheriqthanyou says: May 17, 2014 9:26 AM

    Indy’s defense sucked with roids, now what?

  85. clssylssy says: May 17, 2014 9:41 AM

    Goodell is a power monger and the players need to get the union, medical experts and their lawyers lined up to draw a line in the sand when it comes to the decision of a layman over that of a medical doctor. No other employer would presume such arrogance as telling it’s employees what medical course they were allowed to pursue for a problem and the NFL is in the dark ages manipulating the public’s misperceptions, to it’s advantage through suspensions, fines, etc.
    Fans seem blind to the fact that the Commissioner is manipulating the “level playing field” by arbitrarily suspending players who are under a physican’s care and who are being treated with medications that show up trace amounts of “banned substances”. Rather than singling out players like a school yard bully, perhaps he should pick on someone his own size and go after the front office crooks who set the pace for everyone under them and are guilty of far worse than taking a prescribed medication and were under a doctor’s care.

  86. broncostevenp says: May 17, 2014 12:11 PM

    I’m sorry, but I am 100% with Mathis on this one. Complete b.s.

  87. johnnyprc says: May 17, 2014 5:19 PM

    WOW, that story is a whopper of a lie. Who in the NFL doesn’t consult with their team doctor before taking any drug long term? Their bodies ARE their profession, and I guarantee that point is made clear from day 1 in the NFL.

  88. footballchic777 says: May 18, 2014 10:22 AM

    Sounds like the old adage about it being easier to do the wrong and then ask for forgiveness…… which means he knew he was doing the wrong. Now it’s time to do the work for forgiveness…..

  89. finfanjim says: May 18, 2014 2:03 PM

    Yeah. Al Davis.

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