BALTIMORE (CBSMiami/AP) — The Baltimore Ravens received some unfortunate news as the team prepares for their big game against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.READ MORE: South Florida Playing Pivotal Role In Transformation Of Psychedelics As Mainstream Medicine
Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata was suspended without pay for four games Thursday for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Ngata will miss the rest of the regular season but will be eligible for the playoffs, the league said.
Ngata said in a statement released by the team that he took Adderall, a drug used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
“I made a mistake, and I own this,” he said.
The suspension costs Baltimore one of its defensive stars as the Ravens compete for a playoff berth. They’re 1 1/2 games behind the Bengals in the AFC North and one of six 7-5 teams tied for the second wild-card spot.
“I am deeply sorry and broken up over this,” Ngata said. “I let down my family, my teammates, Ravens fans and myself. My hope is that the Ravens make the playoffs, and I believe they can do this. And then I can come back and help us win.”READ MORE: Parkland parents furious following Texas elementary school shooting: ‘They failed our kids again’
Ngata has two sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles in 12 games this season. Rookie Timmy Jernigan, a second-round pick out of Florida State, likely will take his place in the starting lineup.
“We are disappointed with Haloti, but no more than he is with himself,” Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said.
The NFL has been concerned about an increase in Adderall use. Its drug tests don’t differentiate between Adderall and other amphetamines, which can help with concentration and stamina. Players diagnosed with ADHD can apply for a therapeutic use exemption that permits them to take the drug.
Under its agreement with the union, the NFL doesn’t identify the substance when a player is punished. In the past, suspended players frequently blamed Adderall, but the league could not confirm or deny whether that was the basis for the positive test.
But under the new drug agreement announced earlier this season, the NFL can now disclose information to “correct inaccurate public claims made by that player or his representatives about the discipline.”
(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)MORE NEWS: Environmental advocates who say Biscayne Bay is dying to gather Wednesday to find solutions
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