by Aaron Wilson
July 27, 02013
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Andre Holmes was suspended for the first four games for violating the NFL performance-enhancing drug policy
He's eligible to return Sept. 30 after serving the suspension, but can participate in the preseason practices and games.
In a statement, Holmes expressed surprise that he tested positive for a banned amphetamine in an April drug test.
"I know that I had been quite ill when I was tested in early April, as I reported to the sample collector at the time my sample was given, so I thought one of the medications I was taking was responsible," Holmes said. "However, to this day, even after further testing, I do not know how the substance got into my system. The drug policy rules are very strict with a zero tolerance, so after consulting with the (NFL Players Association) and reviewing the medical documentation, I will not appeal the discipline.
"During training camp and preseason I will work extremely hard, and I will continue to work intensely so that I'm ready to contribute the minute I am back. I sincerely apologize to my teammates, coaches and Raiders fans for this situation."
Holmes caught two passes for 11 yards last season for the Dallas Cowboys in seven games.
He was claimed off waivers by the New England Patriots in May.
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.