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James Harrison Lists Stipulations in Order to Conduct PED Interview with NFL

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 27, 2016

FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2015, file photo, Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison stretches before the team's NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens in Pittsburgh.  Harrison’s only motivation for returning to the Steelers is a third Super Bowl ring. The former NFL Defensive Player of the Year briefly mulled retirement before announcing last month he would be back for a 14th season. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison will agree to be interviewed by the NFL about allegations of performance-enhancing drug use, but he's going to do it on his terms.

In two posts on Instagram on Sunday night, Harrison shared the letter he received from the league about his scheduled interview and then provided his response:

Pro Football Talk reported Monday morning that the "NFL has no comment on [Harrison's] stipulations for his PED investigation interview."

USA Today's Tom Pelissero reported on June 24 that Harrison was one of three players—along with Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews—named in the Al Jazeera America investigation into PED use among athletes.

The NFL Players Association issued a statement criticizing the league's investigation, via USA Today:

The NFL has chosen to initiate an investigation of these players based upon now-recanted statements that appeared in an Al Jazeera report. The NFLPA requested from the NFL any additional evidence supporting an investigation of the players; the NFL did not provide any such evidence, nor did they inform the NFLPA or the players that any such evidence exists. Instead, the NFL has decided to publicly pressure the players into submission. We will continue to advise our players about their rights and hold the NFL accountable.

The Al Jazeera investigation named NFL players such as Harrison and Peyton Manning as well as MLB stars Ryan Howard and Ryan Zimmerman. Much of the information in the documentary came from Charlie Sly, an intern who worked at the Guyer Institute, an anti-aging clinic in Indianapolis.

Speaking to reporter Liam Collins, Sly said Harrison used Delta-2, which is banned by the NFL, per the Washington Post's Justin Wm. Moyer.

Harrison denied the accusation in December, per Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "[Sly] has never supplied me with anything. I never took steroids—point, blank, period, end of discussion."

Sly also recanted the statements he made to Collins:

Pelissero noted Harrison doesn't need to fail a drug test to face possible discipline from the league. The NFL can punish a player the league "found through sufficient credible documented evidence…to have used, possessed or distributed performance-enhancing substances."

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