R. Harrison Suspended After Admitting HGH Use
The NFL suspended New England Patriots veteran safety Rodney Harrison for four games after he admitted to league officials that he used human growth hormone, two sources familiar with the case said tonight.
People familiar with the league's drug-testing program said they believed that Harrison is the first NFL player to be suspended for the use of growth hormone. It is on the league's list of banned substances but players are not tested for it because there is no urine test for it that NFL officials deem reliable and players' union leaders say they won't allow players to be subjected to blood tests.
But Harrison acknowledged his use to federal investigators probing a distribution ring for performance-enhancing drugs and to NFL officials, said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the suspension had not been announced by the league. Harrison met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell today, the sources said.
Harrison told reporters in a conference call arranged by the Patriots that he will be suspended for violating the league's policy on banned substances and he was "very sorry" for what he called his mistake.
"I want to make it clear that not once did I ever use steroids," Harrison said on the conference call, according to the Boston Globe. "I did admit to the commissioner that I did in fact use a banned substance. My purpose was never to gain a competitive edge, rather my use was solely for the purpose of accelerating the healing process of injuries I sustained while playing football."
A source said the league also has an NFL assistant coach under investigation in its probe into the distribution and use of growth hormone by players.
By Mark Maske |
August 31, 2007; 11:05 PM ET
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