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Patriots' Rodney Harrison to be suspended four games, reportedly for HGH use

| Saturday, Sept. 1, 2007

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The NFL will suspend New England Patriots safety Rodney Harrison four games for violating its substance abuse policy, Harrison said Friday night.

"Tomorrow, the commissioner will announce that I've been suspended," a somber Harrison said in a hastily announced conference call.

Although the hard-hitting defensive back said he has never used steroids, "I did admit to the commissioner that I did, in fact, use a banned substance."

"My purpose was never to gain a competitive edge," he said. "Rather, my use was to accelerate the process of reovering from injuries."

The suspension was first reported by ESPN.com, which said Harrison admitted to federal investigators that he obtained human growth hormone. Harrison did not take questions about the details of the suspension.

ESPN said Harrison met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Friday. The league does not comment on suspensions for violation of its substance abuse policy.

Although the Patriots set up the conference call with Harrison, a spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the team.

Harrison's name came up in federal and New York state investigations into an Internet pharmaceutical distribution ring for steroids and other performance enhancers, ESPN reported.

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