Neal to sit first four Packer games

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Bob McGinn, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
— Defensive end Mike Neal has dug himself a hole with the Green Bay Packers from which it might be impossible for him to recover.

Neal’s sagging career took another major hit Tuesday when the National Football League suspended him for the first four games of next season for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Neal, a second-round draft choice in 2010 from Purdue, will be allowed to participate in the off-season program and training camp. If he makes the final 53-man roster, he would be suspended without pay for the first four games.

Citing confidentiality, a team spokesman said the Packers would not comment. Attempts to reach Neal were unsuccessful.

Agent Roosevelt Barnes said his client’s appeal already had been denied.

“He’s very remorseful,” said Barnes. “He’ll serve his suspension and then be ready to come back and play.”

Neal’s mother, Rhonda, said more than 10 times during an interview that her son had not taken performance-enhancing drugs.

“Mikey, we call him Mikey, has never taken a performance-enhancing drug in his life,” she said. “If he would have taken it they would have found out through college, they would have found out when he first got to the NFL. He has been tested several times at random, like the rest of the guys.”

However, she refused to say what substance had gotten her son suspended.

“It’s nothing that can make him stronger, better or anything else,” Rhonda Neal said. “It was absolutely nothing like that.

“But I will tell you this. The same thing he was caught with, I take it all the time. I’m not on drugs. I am on a lot of medication because I just got through with chemotherapy.

“He did not take my medication. What he has is just common. It’s absolutely nothing.”

Last updated: 7:57 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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