Steelers News

Report: NFL Has Yet To Schedule PED Investigation Interview With Steelers’ Harrison

On Monday, the NFL announced in a written statement that they found no credible evidence that former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning was provided with or used HGH or other substances prohibited by the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances as part of their long investigation into allegations made in a documentary by Al-Jazeera America.

Additionally, the league announced that their investigation will continue into the documentary’s allegations made against the other NFL players named in the report, of which Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison is included.

The NFLPA replied to the league’s Monday announcement with their own brief statement.

“As a former player, Peyton Manning is free to do whatever he believes is in his best interest. The Union knows that he understands the rights of players under the Collective Bargaining Agreement and would never do anything to hurt or undermine active players in support of those rights.”

While the league was hoping to interview Harrison in addition to Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers of the Green Bay Packers and current free agent Mike Neal ahead of the start of training camps around the league, it appears as though no formal meetings have been set as of the time of this post.

According to a Monday report on Twitter by Chris Bradford of the Beaver County Times, the NFLPA Director of Communications Carl Francis  told him, “The NFL cannot interview a player without NFLPA counsel present and that no such interview has been scheduled for Mr. Harrison (or any of the other players).”

As previously reported, each of the players listed above have already sent written and signed affidavits to the NFL with the thinking that was sufficient for the league’s investigation and the NFLPA has backed them in that process. The league, however, doesn’t agree with that process and are now demanding that each player meet with NFL security and legal teams. Additionally, they have indicated in previous statements to the NFLPA that failure of the aforementioned players to participate in interviews with the league would be considered as part of the future evaluation process for potential discipline.

On Monday, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy was asked about the future status of Matthews and Peppers and he said it was in his belief that like Manning, both players would eventually be exonerated.

“I have not talked to them recently [about it]; I talked to them back in the season when it first came out, and frankly I don’t have anything else to really report on it,” McCarthy said, according to “I have no reason to be concerned based on the conversations I’ve been a part of.”

The Steelers will report to Saint Vincent College in Latrobe on Thursday for the start of training camp and at that time, Harrison will likely talk briefly to the media about his current standing in the league’s investigation. While he probably won’t say much about it, he’ll probably confirm his previous decision to not meet with the league on the matter. Later that same day, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin will hold his first training camp press conference, but I doubt he’ll have much to say about the Harrison situation. We shall see.

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