NFL free agent safety James Ihedigbo joined Mad Radio to address his recent four-game suspension, how it happened, why he feels defenseless in the matter and how hard the news has been for him and his family.
On What Happened: “It’s something that just really for lack of a better term, rubs me the wrong way. I’d use some choice words if I could, but that’s just not my speed. I am so big on my integrity of this game. In my ten years in the league I have done everything the right way. I’ve worked my butt off to get where I am, no shortcuts whatsoever, outworked the competition and always proven that I’m the better option. The supplements I take, everything is wholistic, I’ve been taking the same supplements since 2012 and not had an issue. Now for me to test positive for PED’s is pretty disturbing. You know with the policy of the league in terms of appealing such accusations, ya know. You’re appealing to the same people who issued the suspension so they’re not gonna change their mind in your favor so it kinda is what it is, it’s very unfortunate and I have never in any circumstance taken anything that was illegal in terms of the NFL, to my knowing.”
On what substance may have been tainted: “I take amino acids, I take adrenals to process stress and I even take stuff for my digestive system to make sure I’m maximizing every nutrition of what I eat. I truly treat my body like a formula one race car, that’s just the pride I have in terms of my performance, but no I don’t know the exact supplement. What the league has kind of implemented is that I made each thing (supplement) in and they test each thing one-by-one to figure out what it is, but it’s something that was orally ingested and they said one of the supplements I was taking was contaminated.”
On knowing what supplements are league approved before taking: “What you do is you take it to your trainer and say, this is what I’m taking, is this ok? Even the fact that I got signed after week eight during the season (2016), it’s something that I’ve taken to trainers in the past that have been like this is ok so then it’s in my mind it’s like this is ok, why would that change, but the way your body processes things that can change. It brings to question my integrity, my work ethic, everything that I have done, which is so far from the truth. I have literally grinded to be where I am to be in the NFL and have never taken any short cuts. My close friends and family can attest to it.”
On fans not believing athletes these days when they say they’re innocent: “That’s fair, but you can look at my track record. I have had some of my best seasons recently playing at a high level and have been tested throughout that whole entire time and never tested positive. I’ve never even had a negative scratch in my entire career. I always pride myself doing things the right way and how they’re supposed to be done.”
Click below to hear the full interview.