Not answering the phone can have dire consequences on an athlete's perception, just ask Terrell Owens. It was a miscommunication between the NFL and Owens that led to him missing a random drug test. The NFL's policy states that a missed random drug test places the player in the "reasonable cause" testing program with up to 24 tests per year. At the NFL's discretion, the league can fine or suspend a player who misses a random test.
Like most of his past transgressions, Owens is not taking any personal responsibility for this latest mishap. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, is the fall guy. Owens provided the NFL with contact information after the season for his agent and stated that the league had a previous contact number for him that he never provided. Owens included the agent's number "because I know he always answers the phone." Even for Owens, that was a bit over the top. If any other athletes are represented by Mr. Rosenhaus, you may want to check on his recovery because T.O. just threw him under the bus.
T.O. went straight to the Barry Bonds / BALCO playbook saying that in his 12 NFL seasons he has never tested positive "for substance of any kind." Track stars and baseball players were so arrogant and adamant in their denials because they were ahead of the curve. They could also boast the "never tested positive" line even when observation or circumstantial evidence made one question the truthfulness of their claims. It has been said Owens, 34, has the body of a 25 year old. Is that all from hard work or in conjunction with PED's?
I hope for Owens' case that he is not using any PED's. In T.O. land, this is a win-win situation. If he never tests positive, vindication with the ultimate, "I told you so" moment and even if he does test positive, there will additional media attention and someone on deck to be thrown under the bus so in T.O.'s mind, he didn't do anything wrong.