Robert Mathis was today suspended by the NFL today after falling foul of the league's policy of performance-enhancing drugs. 

The suspension will run for the the first games of the 2014 season with his return looking likely for the Indianapolis Colts' clash against the Tennessee Titans September 28.

The linebacker had a successful year for the Colts last season, recording 19.5 sacks and he will be missed in the opening weeks of next season for sure.

The Colts themselves issued a statement emphasising their support for the former Alabama man:

"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," the statement read.

Mathis himself issued a statement in which he explained his version of events which have led the six-time Pro-Bowler to face a ban.

He refused to go into too much detail about exactly what substance it is that has caused the issue, citing "very personal medical information" in relation to fertility issues, but the 33-year-old took time to speak to fans directly in the message:

"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," explained Mathis.

"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."

The drug is reported by Ian Rapoport to be clomid.

Judging by Mathis' words he seems genuinely disappointed with what has happened, but did have some positive news:

"The incredible blessing of this very upsetting situation is that, after I took the medication...we learned that my wife is expecting a baby."

Every cloud has a silver lining as they say.

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