New York Giants safety Tyler Sash has been suspended for four games by the NFL for a violation of the league's performance enhancing drug policy.
Sash, a 2011 draft choice, will continue to participate in training camp and preseason and will be eligible to return to the active roster on Oct. 1. He tested positive in March for a banned substance that he indicated was prescribed by a physician.
“I took a prescription drug (Adderall) legally under a doctor's care for an anxiety condition during the offseason in March of this year. The purpose was to help me with public speaking appearances. I had no idea that this prescription drug was banned by NFL policy. Although I take full responsibility for this situation, I also want to state that I have never cheated or taken performance-enhancing drugs, and I frown on those who do,” Sash said in a statement via the Associated Press.
“I am highly disappointed by the league's decision in this matter, but I will continue to do my best on and off the field. From this point on, I will be more conscientious about every single thing I put in my body. Once again, I want to reiterate that I have never been and will never be associated in any way with performance-enhancing drugs. The timing of this positive test was March 2012, a time during which there is no physical performance required of me.
“I hope this explanation reinforces my innocence and shows that my intentions were pure.”
Agent Jack Bechta, who represents Sash issued a statement.
“I am extremely disappointed with the league's ruling pertaining to Tyler Sash's suspension for testing positive for Adderall. As the policy stands right now there is little or no latitude for the league to interpret special circumstances as there was in this case and apply common sense for the obvious pure intentions of Tyler's need for medical care.
“It is obvious from the timing of the positive test that Tyler's intent was not to gain any advantage of performance enhancement as there are zero physical or competitive requirements of him for anything during the month of March.
"Unfortunately, like many NFL players have experienced, the appeal process is usually an exercise in futility. After a passionate explanation during the appeal of the circumstances involved, the NFL ultimately denied the appeal.”
“This is a young man who has done everything right, and who had never failed a test for any illegal substance or performance enhancing substance in his career, including college. He has been a good citizen, a good teammate, and has never troubled anyone.”
“For players who came into the league in a lockout year and were rushed through the process of being prepared to play, in my eyes were at a distinct disadvantage to the educational process offered to rookies about the protocol for obtaining exemptions for specific prescriptions.”
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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com