One of the NFL’s highest-paid offensive linemen claimed Wednesday that he did not knowingly take a banned substance he says got him a four-game suspension — and he took a polygraph test in an attempt to prove it.
- Have you ever knowingly ingested ostarine?
- Have you ever deliberately ingested ANY illegal drug to enhance your performance?
Lewan also posted a video Wednesday in which he appeared tearful while saying, “I’ve never taken anything that would cheat the game. I’m so sorry to the Tennessee Titans and their fans that I won’t be there for four games.”
Lewan said that under the terms of the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, he is “completely responsible for the things that are in my body, whether the supplement I’m taking has it on the label or not.” He added that he would have the supplement “tested by a third party,” in addition to releasing the polygraph results.
According to ESPN, which cited a source, the process of determining whether Lewan merits a suspension has not been completed. The “A” portion of a sample he submitted to drug-test administrators came back positive, but the “B” sample results have not yet been confirmed. If they match the “A” sample, the 28-year-old would be set for a four-game ban.
A standout at the University of Michigan before the Titans made him the No. 11 pick in the 2014 draft, Lewan has been selected for the past three Pro Bowls. Before the 2018 season, Tennessee gave him a five-year, $80 million contract extension with a position-leading $50 million in guarantees.
Former Titans safety Bernard Pollard scornfully noted in his own video Wednesday that Lewan “got an $80 million contract and got popped afterwards.”
“Don’t cheat this freaking game and then come back with, ‘Oh, I didn’t know, I took a polygraph test, I didn’t know,’ ” Pollard said. “I can care less about a polygraph test. You mean to tell me you are a multimillion-dollar athlete and you don’t know what the freak you’re putting in your system?
“Something needs to be put in place where guys that cheat this game pay that freaking money back.”
Other NFL players were more supportive, including free agent linebacker Will Compton, a former member of the Titans and Washington Redskins, who replied to Lewan’s post by saying, “In your corner, man. We all got your back.”
Compton also responded to Pollard, tweeting, “You’re correct that guys need to know exactly what’s being put in their body but it’s also a flawed system. And you’re 100% wrong about it being on purpose.”
“All I know is, anyone I’ve ever played with knew EXACTLY what they were putting in their bodies,” Pollard tweeted in return. “Good and bad. I’ve heard this story over and over again. Money’s made and excuse is after.”
Another former safety for the Titans, Michael Griffin, told Lewan, “We all make mistakes knowingly or unknowingly. No one is perfect! Use this small bump in the road as motivation and do what you do best.”
If Lewan is suspended to start the season, he will miss three road games versus the Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars and Atlanta Falcons, as well as a home date against the Indianapolis Colts.
Browns defensive end Myles Garrett tweeted at Lewan that “we need this matchup,” so it was up to the lineman to somehow “make this happen.”
According to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, ostarine is the trademarked name for a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM) that is “not approved for human use or consumption in the U.S., or in any other country.” SARMs can stimulate receptors for androgens such as testosterone in bone and muscle without side effects associated with anabolic steroids.
“You should be aware that some dietary supplement manufacturers illegally put SARMs like ostarine in their products and sell them as ‘legal steroids’ or ‘research only chemicals,’ ” USADA states. “Moreover, they may omit ostarine from the label entirely, or use misleading names to confuse consumers.”
“I’ve never cheated myself and I never want you guys to feel cheated,” Lewan said in his video. “And I’m sorry. But I’m going to be better for this. I’m going to come back.”
“I’ll do whatever I can to prove that I’ve never done anything wrong in regards to supplements,” he added, “or taking anything knowingly.”
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