Tennessee Titans middle linebacker Ryan Fowler has been notified by the NFL that he faces suspension for being in violation of the league's policy for performance-enhancing drugs, his attorney confirmed Monday.
In a letter sent to Fowler on Friday, the NFL told the Titans player that it had "credible information" Fowler "purchased, used or supplied" performance-enhancing drugs, sources told ESPN.
Consequently, Fowler was told the league believes it would be appropriate to impose suspension without pay, pending a hearing that it was trying to arrange in the near future. The sources also said the information stemmed from NFL security's meeting with convicted steroids dealer David Jacobs last month. Jacobs was found dead in his Dallas-area home on Thursday, a victim of suicide, according the medical examiner.
Peter Ginsberg, an attorney for the New York law firm of Crowell and Moring, issued an emphatic defense on behalf of Fowler, his client.
"Ryan has never tested positive for any banned substance," said Ginsberg. "There apparently are unsubstantiated accusations that have been made by an admitted felon without any corroboration and the commissioner apparently has seen fit to use those accusations to threaten my client's career.
"It's a violation of Ryan's due process rights and seemingly a violation of the NFL's policy itself to use these kind of unsubstantiated accusations itself," Ginsberg said. "We've asked the NFL to provide to us any corroboration or support for these allegations and, to date, the NFL has provided absolutely no evidence to support any threatened discipline."
Fowler played his first three seasons with the Dallas Cowboys from 2004 to '06 before signing with the Titans as a restricted free agent for the 2007 season. A Titans spokesman said the club cannot comment. An NFL spokesman also said the league had no comment.
Chris Mortensen is an NFL reporter for ESPN.