When you think of Robert Mathis what comes to mind? For many Indianapolis Colts fans, it’s being sack champion, which he was crowned this past season for having the most sacks in the NFL.
Mathis, a five-time pro bowler, has been suspended for the first four regular season games due to his positive test results for using performance enhancing drugs. The test came back as a fertility drug, but Mathis failed to contact to National Football League (NFL) or National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) to see if the fertility drug Clomid was on a banned list.
Mathis who recorded 19.5 sacks and eight forced fumbles in the 2013-2014 season and was also the runner up for the Defensive Player of the Year, had twins with his wife in 2012.
Mathis is not the first athlete to be suspended for using male fertility drugs. Cincinnati Reds pitcher Edison Volquez was suspended for 50 games by Major League Baseball in 2010 for also taking a fertility drug called Clomiphene.
Mathis tried to appeal his suspension, but it was denied by the NFL. The linebacker will be able to return to the Colts roster on Oct 5 against the Baltimore Ravens.
Mathis did issue a statement telling fans what he was suspended for and what type of drug it was. “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 not calling the NFL or NFLPA to double check before I took the medication at the end of last season,” he expressed in a tweet.
Fans were supportive and sympathetic to the thought that Mathis did all this for a child. Fans are angrier with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for not being more understanding and declining to hear Mathis’ appeal. However, Goodell said he declined to hear the appeal because he did not want to be the “hearing officer” in Mathis’ case he stated to the players union. “ I did not see any reason that this was different than any of the other drug cases, and I don’t hear those.”
The Colts first regular season game is against the Denver Broncos with former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning whom Mathis sacked and forced a fumble in last year’s game against the Broncos to help the Colts win. For the first time since his suspension has come out, Mathis stood up in front of his Colts teammates and offered his apologies for his careless behavior. “Sorry, and I will be back,” Mathis told his teammates. The 11-year veteran and team captain went on to explain that he knows his teammates understand where he is coming from and he just wants to move past this. “ I should not have done it,” Mathis said. “My bad, There is no question I would like to re-do everything, but I can’t take it back.”