Robert Mathis suspended four games for PED violation


The Colts relied heavily on linebacker Robert Mathis to provide them with a pass rush last season, but they’ll have to find another alternative for the first four games of the regular season.

The league announced Friday afternoon that Mathis has been suspended for the first four games of the 2014 season because of a violation of the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. The Colts released a statement about the suspension as well.

“We have learned that Robert Mathis will be required to serve a four game suspension under the League’s policy on prohibited substances. We recognize the extreme seriousness of this matter and will honor the confidentiality requirements of the League’s program. 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 also released a statement through his representatives. He calls himself a man of integrity and explained that the banned substance was related to fertility treatments he was taking in hopes of having a baby with his wife.

“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. 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. I am deeply saddened that this situation will prevent me from contributing to my team for four games, and I regret that I didn’t cross check what my doctor told me before I took the medication.”

Mathis apologized to the team and Colts fans in the statement, which also includes the happier news that he and his wife are expecting a child later this year.

The suspension means Mathis will miss the Colts’ season-opening trip to Denver as well as games against the Eagles, Jaguars and Titans before he is eligible to return to the field. Replacing the production of a player who had 19.5 sacks and eight forced fumbles last year is not going to be easy for the Colts and they may find themselves with some early catching up to do if they can’t do it.

80 responses to “Robert Mathis suspended four games for PED violation

  1. Leave it to the nfl to ban substances that help men with fertility problems.
    This is a dumb policy that should result in

  2. Maybe we’ll have a chance to avoid a couple extra sacks in week three!

    In this circumstance, if there’s a reproductive endocrinologist who can document to the NFL physicians that there was a medical necessity for the treatment, he should get some kind of a waiver. Shouldn’t have to put off having kids to play football.

  3. How about we take a small sample size and blow it way out if proportion . Let’s forget who has been leading the nfl for a while as soon and a new brash team comes to the forefront thats all well talk about . Glass houses people thanks for inspiring my team ..

    He’s old he needed them it’s not normal to get significantly better that late in a career .

  4. Haha a seahawk fan would be the first to use that every team does it excuse…

  5. Two possibilities :

    1) He is an idiot considering how he didn’t ask NFL about the use of the drug. Hard to believe that wouldn’t occur to him. You are never going to meet the stupidest person you are ever going to meet.

    2) He’s lying…

  6. That was great when he sacked Peyton in Indy and forced a safety last year.

  7. Even if it helps him have children, if it has also been deemed to be a performance enhancing drug that gives him an advantage over other players, I don’t see how the NFL could allow him special permission to take it.

  8. This filthy CHEATER has been cheating since the beginning. The 2006 Colts Super Bowl ring is now 100% TAINTED. He was huge in that 2006 AFC Championship Game against the Pats and now we know he was cheating the entire time.

    2006 Indianapolis Colts*

    *Tainted for one of their best players cheating the whole season.

  9. I was waiting for the inevitable ‘tainted supplement’, ‘Adderal’ or ‘Lab Tech error’ excuses but Male Fertility Treatments? Can’t say I’ve heard that one before.

  10. An honest player would name the drug in question … wouldn’t he?

    Goodbye, Robert, I have no place in me for cheaters. I am shocked.

    Granted this is the single article I have read, so maybe he has disclosed the “medication” somewhere else?

    I am a disappointed Colts fan :(, I hope it really was as he described. Congratulations on the Pregnancy.

  11. Not a Colts fan, and normally I would be in agreement with the suspension, but in this case, it’s Robert freaking Mathis… I just can’t see this being what everyone is saying it is – something just doesn’t sit right here.

  12. Has an NFL player ever just, you know, actually taken responsibility for breaking this policy?

    It’s always a doctor’s fault or ADD issue.

  13. You have to have the waiver before you test dirty. One of the Seattle players had a prescription for adderall and forgot the waiver. Guess what? The NFL still suspended him. You’re gonna lose him for 4 games.

  14. This is garbage. I am a urologist and deal with these issues. He probably was found to have a high testosterone level. NO ONE gives T to patients with fertility issues. It impairs spermatogenesis

    There is nothing medical drug wise that I can think of that we give men with fertility issues that would cause a PED violation.

    Don’t believe him. He is lying thru his teeth.

  15. This is the Manny Ramirez excuse, who used female fertility drugs to mask the anabolic steroids he was taking.

  16. I guess this means that Jim Ursay will get at least a one year suspension since his behavior and drug abuse has been documented by law enforcement to be far greater than that of Robert Mathis.

  17. It could be worse for Mathis. Once he serves his suspension, he resumes his playing career for the Colts, a respectable NFL franchise. Imagine if he had to resume his career, playing for the Vikings, the Keystone Kops of the NFL!

  18. So anybody not named Cromartie can use the fertility excuse. Come on, man, he got caught.

  19. Just for once I’d like to see one of these guys say “yup I did it and got caught, my fault, my responsibility”.

    And if he was stupid enough to take any drug prescribed by a physician for any reason and didn’t check with the NFL he’s entirely at fault. Its very easy. Call the NFL commissioner’s office or medical office and ask. What can that take, 2 minutes of time and wait a few minutes for a call back ?

  20. Wow, I would think a medical student could do a better job than his endocrinologist. What he is describing , sounds like gross negligence. Seems like he would able to sue his his Doctor.

    At his next press conference someone should ask him if his incompetent physician is going to be held accountable

  21. Yea he came from being a good defensive end to one of the best ever in his 11th yr? No way. A male fertility drug to me equals testosterone, which means you should know that will cause you to fail a PED test.

  22. This always makes a good headline but actually only reveals the ignorance of the large numbers of the general public and especially the NFL, to the fact that many medications prescribed therapeutically for a variety of issues will result in a “positive” reading for PEDs. Players coming off injuries have often time been prescribed medications to aid in the healing process and they many not be completely out of the system, depending on how they are metabolized. Not every player who tests “positive” is juicing and most are smart enough to understand the downsize of using PEDs when not prescribed. A lot of football fans act like they have sustained damage of their own for consistently buying into every negative implication spun, when common sense would tell them otherwise.

  23. So Mathis is shooting blanks?

    If that is legit, he shouldn’t be suspended. It is an actual problem for some families. The guy wants to have a kid.

    I’m sure lots of people in the NFL and front offices have had difficulty conceiving.

  24. @patriotinvasion

    C’mon guy. “Spygate” ring a bell? A player using a PED is one thing. Institutionalized cheating by the coaching staff where the evidence is destroyed by Goodell because it’s so damning, is another.

  25. LOL PED didnt blow out the Broncos to win the Superbowl! So because some else used PED now they have to be link to the Seahawks such haters but your hate cant take away the SB Trophy or get your team one!

  26. Lance Armstrong has his recoreds wiped away and gets banned for life. An NFL player gets four games. Got to love unions.

  27. It’s likely testosterone. When you take artificial testosterone, the body shuts down its production.

    At least it’s not the Adderall lie so many have been using lately.

  28. Not that he could have saved much of it, but his integrity didn’t need to be mentioned alongside. Not surprised Commish refused to court such a circus. What does a random fertility expert know on banned substances of the NFL?

  29. Some baseball fan tell me again that there is no proof the ped’s help performance. Mathis was old and worn out then becomes 1 of the best DE in football. Cushing becomes a superstar then nothing after getting caught. Von Miller becomes a superstar cant get on the field since. Sherman goes from a nobody to 1 of the best dbs in the league. Barry Bonds McGwire Sosa all break records that stood for decades. Ryan Braun dominates baseball. And even 1 of my favorites Carlos Ruiz starts hitting .330 then gets caught and cant hit above .260.

  30. No, his statement that this is because of fertility drugs is irrelevant and he deserves to be suspended. The golden rule for these guys is that you check with the league on any medication or new product you start using. Saying you didn’t check with the league is the equivalent of “the dog ate my homework”.

    The only reasons not to consult the team physician or the nfl office prior to starting the use of this because the fertility drug excuse doesn’t hold water when you use it for 5 or 6 years or the fertility drug is used as a masking agent for something else.

  31. Clomid is commonly used after a cycle of steroids to help re-start your own testicles in manufacturing testosterone. Pretty crafty excuse by Mathis that he was using it for fertility. I guess this explains his 19 sacks last year at the age of 32.

  32. harrisonhits2 says: May 16, 2014 5:34 PM

    Just for once I’d like to see one of these guys say “yup I did it and got caught, my fault, my responsibility”.

    Rodney Harrison did just that when he got busted for HGH. No dumbass excuses.

    In baseball Andy Petite owned up to it.

    But yes, I am in full agreement. Much rather hear a player admit it than act like they didn’t and expect that everyone will believe the BS.

  33. Leave it to the nfl to ban substances that help men with fertility problems.
    This is a dumb policy that should result in


    You might want to brush up on your facts. The drugs used for fertility problems show up in tests the same way some PEDs do. If Mathis’ story is true, all he had to do was contact the league before taking the meds as is clearly spelled out in the policy. It has happened to a number of guys taking Adderall to treat ADD. These guys gotta be smarter.

  34. A lot of these players take PED’s some get caught others dont, i mean the human body can only do so much. Imagine the guy next to you is running like a horse about to compete in the preakness, and hitting hard like a sledge hammer. You want that edge too, to me it is popularity/$$$$ of this game that would drive these guys to pursue all means necessary.

  35. Seriously the Seahawk PED comments have been old for at least a year now and have no relevance today. Can’t you chumps use another excuse for why the Seahawks dominate?

  36. Little sympathy here. It’s a simple process. Before you take something, check with the league office. That’s all. If they say it’s banned, and the player disagrees, he can open a grievance. If you don’t check first, you are liable for all consequences.

  37. “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.”

    Yes, because I’m sure a non-authorized NFL doctor is an expert in NFL drug testing rules and procedures.

  38. It’s either a jerk move the commish won’t reconsider but the issue is that fertility drugs are used to come off roof cycles. Can’t blame him

  39. macjacmccoy says:

    Sherman goes from a nobody to 1 of the best dbs in the league.


    Yep. Sherman is one of the best dbs in the league. But not defensive back. The other db.

  40. Let Mathis play! Let Mathis play!

    Who are the Hawks on Adderall or Peds? Adderall is allowed by the NFL with a script. If it was that performance enhancing, it would NOT be allowed period. Bruce Irvin…. Wow.. 1 guy… who contributed very little to the Hawks SB.

    Whiners only complain and are jealous of the greatest Defense to every play in the NFL. Only the 85 Bears and Hawks were #1 in fewest yds allowed, fewest pts allowed and most takeaways.

    With that being said, Goodell should use common sense and have a hearing on this case. What a joke. Mathis should be allowed to play!

  41. Well, this makes no sense since anyone who is in Indianapolis simply can not cheat. I’ve been repeatedly told how stand up they are and that they are not cheaters.

    There must be some mistake, and it must be a Steeler, Patriot or Bronco who did it.

    Anyone who is a Colt simply can not cheat.

  42. So according to Mathis, the sack master had trouble with his sack, in the sack.
    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is why I love reading the comments. This is classic!!!!!!

  43. This guy is guilty. I am a urologist and am very familiar with male infertility (at least professionally). There is no way his urologist or her REI obstetrician wouldn’t have warned him to check with the league as most infertility medications (anastrazole, beta-HCG, clomiphene, etc.) are obviously banned because of their direct affect on the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis.

    Exogenous testosterone (i.e., juicing) usually causes infertility. High levels of testosterone prevent the brain from stimulating the testes to make testosterone, which is necessary for spermatogenesis. Juicing is one of the most common causes of infertility.

    Every day infertile couples struggle emotionally and financially with something most of us take for granted. This cheater is trying to cloak himself in their anguish and frustration to avoid consequences of being labelled what he is. He does not deserve the benefit of the doubt so many people have given him here. Goodell owes him nothing. I’m glad he got caught.

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