PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA/AP) – The NFL has said Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison and three other players being investigated for an alleged link to performance-enhancing drugs will be suspended, if they don’t agree to be interviewed by the league in the next 10 days.

On Monday, NFL Senior Vice President of Labor Policy and League Affairs Adolpho Birch sent a letter to the NFL Players Association detailing the plan to suspend Harrison, Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers of the Green Bay Packers, and free agent Mike Neal if they don’t speak with the league by Aug. 25.

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Their punishment would then start the following day.

Birch’s memo to the union was obtained by The Associated Press, according to a person with knowledge of the investigation who was not authorized to speak publicly about it.

It all stems from an Al Jazeera report that aired last December, making claims of performance-enhancing drugs.

Charlie Sly, the man heard making the accusation, later recanted his claims. Still, the NFL is insisting Harrison be interviewed, or he’ll be suspended.


Steelers Vice President and General Manager Kevin Colbert tells the “KDKA Morning News” there isn’t much the team can do.

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“We have to follow whatever rules come down and whatever ruling comes down. It’s really a situation where we have to cooperate. It’s really an NFL and [player’s] union issue and we [have to] stand by and watch because there is nothing we can do other than encourage,” Colbert said.

Harrison posted a video to Facebook Tuesday morning claiming he had been selected for a “random PED test.”

When asked by reporters if the Steelers requested that he do the interview and avoid suspension, Harrison paused a while before answering.

“I guess we’ll deal with that when the time comes. I’m sure it would lean me in that direction because I wouldn’t want to let my teammates down; I don’t want to let the organization down. We’ll deal with that when the time comes,” Harrison said.

Listen to the “KDKA Morning News” with Larry Richert and John Shumway weekdays from 5 to 9 a.m. on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA.

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