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.
|Atletico confirm Filipe Luis hamstring injury|
|Best backs Schmidt to lead Lions in 2021|
|Barcelona´s Vermaelen out for a month with calf injury|
|India lose Shaw for Australia tour as defeat looms in Perth|
|We didn´t have much luck - Nedved dismayed by Atletico tie|
|Manchester City must control Schalke, Begiristain warns|
|Ibrahimovic hints at LA Galaxy stay|
|Latham fills his boots in Wellington with record-breaking knock|
|I´m not thinking ´thank God it´s Bayern´ – Klopp|
|Luis Garcia and Steve McManaman confident of Liverpool progress|
|Arsenal face BATE as Chelsea get Malmo in Europa League|
|Europa League last 32: Draw in full|
|Irwin urges Mourinho turnaround before PSG Champions League clash|
|Rush backs German Klopp to see off Bayern|
|Hope shines as West Indies blitz Bangladesh in Sylhet|
|United and PSG set for Champions League showdown|
|Ajax star De Ligt delighted to join Golden Boy alumni|
|Champions League last 16: Draw in full|
|Lyon strikes to put Australia on course for victory in Perth|
|Mourinho´s players below Manchester United standards, says Giggs|
|We´ve got to find a way to get better in a hurry - McVay challenges spluttering Rams|
|Van Dijk hails ´game-changer´ Shaqiri for downing Man United|
|LeBron praises magical Wall as Lakers fall flat on the road|
|Champions League last 16: Who could get who in Monday´s draw?|
|Pochettino urges fans to ´kill´ racism ahead of EFL Cup derby|
|Ajax star De Ligt wins Golden Boy award|
|Foles fuels Eagles´ upset win over Rams|
|Latham carries bat as New Zealand leave Sri Lanka reeling|
|Keep your cool, Virat – Paine and Kohli in another confrontation|
|Depleted Nuggets complete season sweep of Raptors|
|Fabinho was ´outstanding´, says Klopp|
|Patriots QB Brady on loss to Steelers: We aren´t playing well enough to win|
|Elliott says Cowboys´ shut-out loss to Colts was embarrassing|
|De Bruyne not worried about Liverpool title challenge|
|Sixers star Simmons makes history with triple-double|
|WATCH: Nowitzki receives standing ovation in first home game of season|
|Seattle´s playoff spot on hold after Seahawks suffer OT loss to 49ers|
|Cheika survives as Wallabies coach, Johnson appointed|
|Vikings remain in NFC playoff picture|
|Steelers stay ahead as Patriots lose AFC´s second seed|
|Lionel Messi is the best, says Amor|
|I´m still tired just looking at Robertson – Mourinho in awe of Liverpool intensity|
|Casillas takes swipe at Mourinho after United lose to Liverpool|
|Valverde relieved as Messi brilliance prevents another Levante nightmare|
|WATCH: Leno proposes to girlfriend after Bears clinch division title|
|Messi and Suarez the world´s best strike partnership, says Pique|
|Klopp: I cannot keep every Liverpool player happy|
|Messi and Suarez outscoring Real Madrid and Atletico in LaLiga|
|Levante 0 Barcelona 5: Marvellous Messi banishes ghosts of last season|
|Colts rout Cowboys to keep playoff hopes alive|
|Bears shake off Packers to win NFC North and return to playoffs|
|Mourinho explains Pogba omission and defends Lukaku´s Liverpool showing|
|Liverpool´s display against Manchester United one of the best, claims Klopp|
|Look away Jose! Damning stats expose Manchester United´s limp Liverpool loss|
|Time´s up, Mourinho: Manchester United can dither no longer|
|Manchester United´s players are not dishonest – Mourinho|
|Manchester United´s lack of ambition under Mourinho is scary – Keane|
|Mourinho: All Manchester United can achieve is fourth|
|Quagliarella should be protected by UNESCO, jokes Sampdoria coach|
|Manchester United surpass last season´s goals-against tally in first 17 games|
|Hasenhuttl revels in ´unbelievable´ victory over Arsenal|
|Liverpool 3 Manchester United 1: Shaqiri´s late show bails out Alisson as Reds return to the top|
|Edinburgh in control in Champions Cup, Racing win again|
|Emery ponders January signing after Bellerin injury|
|It is only a knock – Sarri plays down Hazard injury fears|
|Redskins QB Alex Smith released from hospital|
|Starc: If I listen to Warne, I may as well retire|
|Curry interviews retired NASA astronaut, apologises for moon comments|
|Hazard refusing to give up on Premier League title hopes|
|Ziyech & Blind score hat-tricks as Ajax claim 8-0 win|