On Wednesday, Titans tackle Taylor Lewan disclosed that he’s facing a PED suspension. On Thursday, he told reporters he’ll appeal the banishment.
He’ll do it “became I’m innocent,” Lewan said, via Jim Wyatt of the team’s official website.
Lewan also explained that he had hoped to handle the news of the failed PED test differently, but that outside events forced his hand.
“I told the team today that I wanted to tell them before [posting a video on social media],” Lewan told reporters. “It’s unfortunate because a lot of media people started to sniff around, started to get ahold of it, and I just wanted to make sure that I was the one to break the news.”
His goal had been to make the suspension as little of a distraction as possible, but while also making clear his position that he didn’t intentionally break the rules.
“I just wanted to make it clear to them that I didn’t take anything knowingly,”. Lewan said regarding his message to his teammates. “I know what the policy is and I know people will have their split opinions on it, but I’ve never done anything knowingly that would cheat the game. I’m getting all my supplements tested right now and doing all that but for the most part what I said in the video is true.”
He probably misspoke at the end, since if “for the most part what I said in the video is true,” this implies that some lies were floating around in the video. Also, while it probably was just a sign of nerves, his pause and quick glance to the right when explaining in the video that he passed a polygraph test could be interpreted by those who read body language as a tell that he may not have been telling the truth.
Even if everything he has said is 100 percent accurate and truthful, the fact remains that a banned substance showed up in his urine. Unless he can attack the sample-collection or sample-testing process, whether he knowingly or unknowingly took a banned substance simply does not matter.
Given that so many players who test positive make the same claim, Lewan decided to be even more aggressive and zealous in his denial. If it works, that could become the new normal for guys who violate the PED policy but who wish to escape being regarded as cheaters.
The better new normal for all players would be to confine their list of chosen supplements to the pre-approved and pre-tested menu of supplements as identified by the NFL and the NFL Players Association.