Mark Ingram was suspended for four games by the NFL for a performance enhancing drug violation on Tuesday, but the former Alabama running back is fighting that charge “vigorously” through the appeals process.
Ingram released an interesting statement Wednesday morning in response to the decision. He believes the substance he was flagged for using is actually a legal drug by NFL rules.
Here’s the statement:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 9, 2018
“At the end of the 2017 season, as a result of a NFL mandated random drug test, Mark Ingram tested positive for a substance that was not a performance enhancing substance, nor an illegal substance, but a substance in fact permissible with the proper use exemption with the NFL,” the statement reads. “He has vigorously challenged the test results through the arbitration process. The arbitrator’s opinion is due on or before Wednesday, May 16. Upon having the opportunity to review the arbitrator’s opinion, we will explore what further options are needed.”
This certainly sounds like a case that’s more complicated that the typical PED charge. Ingram’s statement and plan of action appears more aggressive than most deploy in his situation, so it will be interesting to see what comes of this.
Ingram is coming off a career year with the New Orleans Saints. He set career highs in rushing yards (1,124), receiving yards (416) and rushing touchdowns (12) while combining with rookie Alvin Kamara to form one of the most productive backfields in recent NFL history.
If the suspension holds, Ingram won’t make his season debut until Week 5 against Washington. He will be eligible to play in the preseason, but can’t practice with the team once the regular season begins.