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Statements from Rodney Harrison and the NFL

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Here is the complete statement New England Patriots safety Rodney Harrison made to the media, followed by a statement released by the NFL.

From the Boston Herald blog:

"I'm basically here to let you all know that tomorrow the commissioner will annouce that I've been suspended by the NFL for violating the league policy on substance abuse. That suspension will be for four games. I want to make it clear that not once did I use steroids. I did admit to the commissioner that I did in fact use a banned substance. My purpose was never to gain a competitive edge. Rather, my use was totally for the purpose of accelerating the healing process from injuries I sustained playing football.

"I haven't made excuses, nor will I make excuses. I made a mistake and I'm very sorry for that. I understand that I'm a role model to high schools, colleges, young kids. I don't condone my decision, my behavior. I'm very, very embarrassed by it. I'm disappointed in myself. And to any young person, any high schooler, any college athlete, I sent the wrong message with my actions and I would want to be the example to them to never jeopardize what they believe in, never jeopardize their health. And they always have to love themselves.

"At this time, because I know you have a million questions for me, this is a mistake that I've done, nothing that my teammates were involved in, and I ask at this time that the respect of my teammates not be violated. This is something that Rodney Harrison did, Rodney Harrison did alone. My teammates didn't do it. So as they're preparing for the Jets and the San Diego game and Cincinnati and those games after that, I would ask that you give them the respect not to badger them with questions. Because they don't have any information dealing with it, and neither does my family. I have kids, I have a wife and I'd ask for the respect for my family. This is something that I did and they shouldn't have to go through.

"I will be absent from the team for the next four weeks, that's the penalty I have incurred, after which I intend to return and help this team in any capacity I can to get back to winning the championship. It's been a tough time for me, the last week or two, even before this. I've apologized to my family, which has supported me, to my friends. And I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to my teammates. Like I said before, they were never involved in this. This is something I did and I apologize to them, because this is the last thing we need going into the regular season. I should have never done this to them.

"I apologize to the entire New England Patriots organization and the fans that have supported me so faithfully over the past five seasons here. Through Super Bowls, through injury, they have supported me, I definitely, definitely appreciate it."

Here is the similar post in The Globe blog. (I haven't compared for differences.)

And, from the NFL:

Rodney Harrison of the New England Patriots has been suspended without pay for the team's first four regular-season games of 2007 for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances.

Harrison's suspension begins immediately. He is eligible to return to the Patriots' active roster on Tuesday, October 2 following the team's October 1 game against the Cincinnati Bengals.