The Surprising (Infertility-Related!) Reason This NFL Player Got Suspended 26740

We've all heard of drug testing in professional ball leagues, but one case now in the news comes with a surprising—and for many, upsetting—twist.

Indianapolis Colts linebacker Robert Mathis—a star player and six-time Pro Bowler—was suspended by the NFL for four games this upcoming season after he tested positive for drugs. But it wasn't for the kind of drugs that probably first come to mind in such instances. Instead, the substance in question is Clomid, well-known for its application as a fertility drug.

More background: Robert and his wife Brandi are already parents to twin boys. But when Robert learned his mother was suffering from stage-four cancer and was given just a short time to live, the pair was eager to conceive another child that she could meet before it was too late. Because of what Robert's sports management agency EAG calls "certain health risks associated with Brandi taking prescriptions," the couple's doctor instead prescribed a course of Clomid, which can increase sperm production, for Robert in the hopes of expediting fertilization.

Robert's management company said further that the football star asked his doctor prior to taking the drug whether it would interfere with the league's drug testing policies, and the doctor said it would not. However, it turns out that Clomid is actually banned by the NFL because it may enhance athletic performance.

In the end, the couple is expecting a new baby girl next month—so the Clomid appears to have served its intended reproductive purpose for Robert's personal life, despite the controversy swirling around his professional life.

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Image courtesy of EAG Sports Management