Thomas Davis, the Carolina Panthers Pro Bowl linebacker, will miss the start of the 2018 season after testing positive for a banned substance.
Davis himself announced the news via Twitter on Friday, saying he had tested positive for an estrogen blocker. However, the 35-year-old vehemently insisted there had been no intentional wrongdoing on his part.
Under NFL rules, Davis faces a four-game suspension. Davis said in his video post he will serve the ban and not appeal.
In text accompanying his Twitter video, Davis wrote: "This is by far one of the saddest days of my NFL career. I never thought that this would happen to me. I've worked extremely hard to do things the right way on and off the field. Panther Nation please know that I am not a cheater. #KeepPounding"
This is by far one of the saddest days of my NFL career. I never thought that this would happen to me. I’ve worked extremely hard to do things the right way on and off the field. Panther Nation please know that I am not a cheater. #KeepPounding pic.twitter.com/zUppMfm6yk— Thomas Davis (@ThomasDavisSDTM) April 6, 2018
An emotional Davis said in his video: "I just want to take a few minutes today to share some news with you guys that I received from the NFL. I was informed that I tested positive for a banned substance.
"I was completely caught off-guard by this. I've never in any way done anything to try to intentionally cheat the game.
"It's one of those situations where the NFL rules are clear. They state that you are responsible as a player for what you put in your body. I've taken the same supplements for the last seven to eight years and never had any issues, been tested numerous times over the years while taking the same stuff. And unfortunately this is some of the things that happen when you take supplements.
"I've never tested positive for a steroid or HGH, it's not one of those situations. It ended up being an estrogen blocker that triggered a positive test for me. I just want you guys to know that in no way would I do anything to cheat this game or to try to create a competitive advantage over anybody.
"I've always tried to do things the right way and that's something that I will continue to do when I'm able to get back on the field. I can honestly tell you guys that my conscience is clear in this situation. And as bad as it hurts me to sit here and tell you guys this, I know it's going to hurt a lot of people that have looked up and believed in Thomas Davis over the years, just know that in no way, in no way have I done anything intentionally to try to cheat this game.
"I'm going to serve this four-game suspension and I'll be back ready to go, back out there with my team-mates. Who knows? Maybe this isn't my last year."
Davis, the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award winner in 2014, is one of the most respected players in the NFL. The veteran is best known for overcoming three ACL surgeries early in his career to return to the sport. He made his first Pro Bowl roster at age 32 and has made the game the past three years.
|Former France coach Michel dies aged 70|
|Ancelotti talks not about Italy job, says Costacurta|
|Hartley: Concussion will not end my career|
|Stanlake´s IPL stint cut short by fractured finger|
|It was a weird few days - FA Cup final ref Oliver reflects on Buffon incident|
|Boateng not intimidated by supreme athlete Ronaldo|
|McNabb magnificent, Smith a Bengals bust - The last time QBs were drafted 1-2-3|
|Wolff loving battle with Ferrari and Red Bull|
|Heynckes: James was depressed after Real Madrid exit|
|Worry about Ronaldo? Real Madrid should fear Lewandowski, says Heynckes|
|Supporter tensions have affected Wenger - Rice|
|Springboks legend Habana to retire|
|Leinster stalwarts Nacewa and Strauss to retire|
|Germany submits Euro 2024 bid dossier|
|Bulls prop Schoeman given six-week ban for biting|
|Amir to arrive in England after visa delay|
|If Lewandowski wants to go, Bayern will have to let him – Effenberg|
|Leinster and Racing players shortlisted for European award|
|´Goal machine´ Ronaldo more complete than Messi – Kimmich|
|Bayern Munich v Real Madrid: Is this the end of the ´BBC´?|
|Blues chief backs under-fire Umaga|
|Manly fine quartet for Gladstone curfew breach|
|Zidane taking entire Madrid squad to Munich|
|Buffon reaction to Real Madrid penalty ´understandable´ – UEFA president|
|Liverpool owner was ´bitching´ about overpaying for Salah – Roma president|
|The Spanish Inquisition - Bayern´s UCL hoodoo vs LaLiga´s big boys|
|Salah eyes Reds record, Roma´s away-day struggles - Champions League semi-final in Opta numbers|
|Liverpool Salah v Roma Salah: The Opta numbers|
|Jazz, Rockets move closer to Western Conference semis|
|Angels continue road-warrior ways with shut-out win over Astros|
|Raiders exercise fifth-year option on Amari Cooper|
|Bogut says NBA career is over after joining Sydney Kings|
|Dani Alves: I´d return to Barcelona tomorrow|
|No friendly Roma reunion for Salah, warns Klopp|
|Tom Brady´s agent expects Patriots QB to play in 2018|
|Spurs coach Popovich will miss game five against Warriors|
|A total accident – Durant responds to Instagram criticism of Westbrook|
|Horse named after Pats´ Gronkowski out of Kentucky Derby due to illness|
|White Sox pitcher Farquhar ´progressing well´ after brain surgery|
|Started from the bottom now we´re here! Wall says Drake predicted Raptors sweep|
|WATCH: Translator wins Klopp´s approval after lengthy response|
|Super Bowl champions Eagles planning White House visit|
|Swap spaghetti for burgers? Di Francesco not considering Premier League move|
|Allardyce hits back at style critics after scrappy Everton win|
|Nothing to prove - Cahill bullish after Chelsea revival|
|Rybarikova sets up Halep clash in Stuttgart|
|Everton 1 Newcastle United 0: Walcott scuppers Benitez´s century celebrations|
|Everton debut ´virtual mascot´ before Newcastle clash|
|Karlovic wins battle of ATP Tour veterans in Barcelona|
|Salah? I can count on Cengiz Under – Di Francesco|
|Robertson ready for Crucible challenge after being ´hamstrung´ by off-table issues|
|Kings XI hold on for dramatic victory against Daredevils|
|´Shameful´ Bolivian side forfeit match at 7-0 down after fielding youth team|
|Henderson fired up for ´fantastic´ De Rossi battle|
|Klopp urges Liverpool fans to ´show respect´ to Roma|
|Juventus confirm muscle tear for Chiellini|
|Klopp key to surprising Salah success – Totti|
|Hartley to miss South Africa tour with concussion|
|Salah´s PFA award made more special by De Bruyne form – Klopp|
|Liverpool have earned the right to be feared, says Gerrard|
|Arsenal confirm ankle ligament damage for Elneny|
|Cubs´ Kris Bryant ´as good as can be expected´ after being hit with 96 mph fastball|
|Hector pledges future to struggling Cologne|
|´Crazy´ fans can help Roma knock out Liverpool, says Voller|
|Sharapova not short on desire despite struggles|
|South Africa to test unbeaten home record vs Pakistan & Sri Lanka|
|Kerr: Ginobili should keep playing another two years|
|He keeps getting better and better - Henderson full of praise for PFA winner Salah|
|Roma v Liverpool: Giallorossi have chance to write positive headlines|
|Prove you are the best - Povetkin promoter lays down Joshua gauntlet|