Yesterday the NFL tried a surprise testing of the Pittsburgh Steelers' veteran outside linebacker, James Harrison, for performance enhancing drugs. It was not the first time that they had knocked on his door looking for incriminating evidence for a "random" testing to determine if Harrison was using performance enhancing drugs in his late thirties to keep in NFL shape.
In order to be thorough and document every step of the test, Harrison reported each stage of the testing via social media on his Instagram and Twitter accounts. We have his chronological reports throughout today about the random test he received:
So in summation, the NFL declared to James Harrison that they wanted to issue a random screening for any performance enhancing drug despite him being tested recently by the NFL. In fact, Harrison did record his most recent test prior to today's, and reportedly learned that the NFL personnel which allowed him to record the steroid test was fired for their decision to allow him to document the test via video. Harrison would have recorded this test as well had the NFL not been so pushy against him doing so.
Although Harrison complied with the request not to film the test, it seems to be a legitimate question, one that the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette asked, why would they not let him?
What is NFL trying to hide here? https://t.co/QKDy32W4rb— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) May 18, 2016
It is not as if the test is a great mystery that the NFL must keep a secret from players whom they wish to catch taking performance enhancing drugs, as pretty much anyone with any interest in athletics knows the process.
Harrison's questioning of why he cannot film his test is a matter that can be resolved at a later time. However, what needs to be stated is this horse-beaten gossip-made myth that Harrison is on steroids just because he is strong at 38 years old.
If you go back, people have questioned Harrison's athleticism as a player who went from an undrafted and overlooked player, to the most dominant pass rusher in the game in the 2000's. The allegations of him using performance enhancing drugs stems back as early as 2008, when he became the NFL Defensive Player of the Year and led the Pittsburgh Steelers to a Super Bowl XLIII victory with a 100-yard interception return.
These tired and sad accusations continue to mount with every insane workout video that Harrison posts on social media. We even covered when Harrison last year took the time to address Patriots fans who were trolling his social media pages to say that he was a steroid abuser.
The most recent resurfacing of these allegations came with the since rescinded Al-Jazeera report that cited Harrison as one of many NFL superstars who used performance enhancing drugs. Harrison vehemently denied those allegations, which have ultimately fallen flat in the months since their origin.
Go to most of these older articles that show Harrison working out or talk about the NFL and performance enhancing drugs, and there's often a thread about Harrison being a steroid user. It has long been an accusation that has stood without merit other than people's astonishment at just how fit Harrison is after all this time.
We get it, some of you out there think that it cannot be possible that someone is still bringing the pain after this long in their career, at a position which has an extreme demand of physical conditioning to be effective. But the thing is if Harrison was a performance enhancing drug user, he would have been caught by now.
Harrison has stated he has been forced to take several random drug tests at his home in his career and has passed them all. He is a player that has been under the NFL's microscope for years because of his intense play, hard-hitting style and his harsh commentary towards NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell. If he was using performance enhancing drugs, he would have been caught by now.
Players like Rodney Harrison, Julius Peppers, Shawn Merriman and Dwayne Bowe have all been caught using performance enhancing drugs. Just because Harrison can do what he can do at age 38 does not mean he took their route to get to where he is now athletically.
If you have a major disbelief at this point that there is no way that James Harrison does not take steroids, it is more likely than not that you only think that way because you want that to be true, rather than you wanting to objectively review the situation and analyze the facts.
The facts in this situation clearly show Harrison is clean and until a test comes in that says otherwise, it is foolish to continue with the accusations of him being a steroid user.