Harrison sends affidavit to NFL

AP Steelers' linebacker James Harrison has been linked to the use of performance enhancing drugs.

PITTSBURGH (TNS) – NFL players association lawyer Heather McPhee provided a sworn affidavit and a letter to the NFL on Tuesday in response to the league’s request to interview Steelers linebacker James Harrison about performance enhancing drug use.

The letter and affidavit, obtained by the Post-Gazette, is addressed to Adolpho Birch, the senior VP for labor policy at the NFL. In it, McPhee informs the NFL that Harrison will not agree to an interview about a December Al-Jazeera America report that implicated Harrison and other NFL players for their use of performance enhancing drugs.

The main source in the report, Charles Sly, recanted his account hours after Al-Jazeera published its story.

“The NFLPA and Mr. Harrison have repeatedly requested that the NFL informed Mr. Harrison and the NFLPA if the NFL’s investigation has yielded any credible evidence (other than verbal remarks aired by Al Jazeera) that would provide a reasonable basis for Mr. Harrison to submit to an interview by his employer,” McPhee wrote. “After numerous written exchanges, the NFL has failed to inform Mr. Harrison or the NFLPA that it possesses, or is even aware of the existence of, any such credible evidence.”

Later in the letter, McPhee wrote: “As you know, neither the CBA not the policy state that a player must agree to an in-person interview based upon random, baseless remarks or face discipline for a failure to cooperate with the league investigation. The NFLPA and Mr. Harrison have simply asked the NFL to meet its obligation as a sophisticated, responsible employer to perform rigorous due diligence prior to demanding interviews with employees.”

The sworn affidavit is in response to the references to Harrison in the Al-Jazeera report.

In the affidavit, Harrison stated he has never met the individual who is “apparently named Charles Sly.” He also stated he did not have any communications with Sly, was never supplied with the substance “Delta 2” and has never ingested the substance “Delta 2”

Delta 2 is a name for a performance enhancing drug. Harrison also stated he has never violated the league’s substance abuse policy.

In the letter’s closing, McPhee wrote: “In absence of the existence of any documented, credible evidence, this affidavit constitutes reasonable cooperation by this employee.”

Harrison told the Post-Gazette last month he would be willing to discuss the matter with the NFL, but he had a number of conditions that had to be met.

Among the conditions that Harrison sought were: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had to be present for the interview at Harrison’s home. It also had to take place before training camp at a time and date that Harrison determined.