Titans linebacker Fowler facing suspension

Monday, June 9, 2008 at 4:35pm
Ryan Fowler has been told by the NFL that he faces a suspension for violating the league’s drug policy. File

Tennessee Titans middle linebacker Ryan Fowler has been told by the NFL that he faces a suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. However, an attorney representing Fowler denies the accusations and is prepared to fight the allegations.

Fowler received a letter last week indicating that the league was considering suspending him under the statute of its drug policy.

"Ryan received a letter last Friday from the league saying he could face a possible suspension in regards to the league's drug policy," said Peter Ginsberg, who is representing Fowler. "And the NFL has taken the word of a convicted felon in the matter and seen fit to go to the media with it. Ryan has never tested positive for any banned substance and we are prepared to fight the allegations."

Ginsberg said he has asked the NFL to show the proof that it has against Fowler.

ESPN.com reported, citing sources, that Fowler was one of the players linked to convicted steroids dealer David Jacobs, who had supplied the NFL with information and was found dead last week along with a companion in his Plano, Texas, home.

Asked if Fowler had ever had any sort of relationship with Jacobs, Ginsberg said, "We will withhold any comment regarding that matter until the NFL presents us with whatever evidence it has."

"We have asked the NFL for the proof that it has against Ryan and thus far they have not responded or corroborated anything. We have advised them of Ryan's rights under the collective bargaining agreement, the league's drug policy and the U.S. Constitution."

No hearing has yet been scheduled to determine whether or not Fowler will face a suspension.

"No hearing has been scheduled yet and we are hoping there won't be one," Ginsberg said. "We are hoping the NFL will reconsider this matter and issue an apology to Ryan."

Fowler spent the first three seasons of his NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys after being an undrafted free agent out of Duke.

He signed as a restricted free agent with the Titans before the 2007 season, signing a four-year package worth $11.5 million. He then won out in a training camp battle with Stephen Tulloch for the starting middle linebacker job in Tennessee.

Fowler suffered a shoulder injury in December against the Kansas City Chiefs that required surgery and several weeks of recovery time. Fowler had been taking part in off-season workouts for the Titans with the first-team unit, though the drills are limited contact.

One of Fowler’s agents, Brian Mackler, declined comment about the situation, while a Titans spokesman indicated that the team could not make any comments regarding the league’s drug policy, citing confidentiality rules. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello also indicated that he had no information on the matter.

Last season, Titans running back Chris Henry served a four-game suspension for testing positive for a banned supplement.

Under the conditions of the league's drug policy, players can receive a four-game suspension for a first offense when it deals with performance-enhancing substances.

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