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.
|Sky decision will not affect us in 2019, insist Froome and Thomas|
|Al Ain 3 Team Wellington 3 (aet, 4-3 on penalties): Shootout heartbreak for semi-pros in Club World|
|Jackson to remain Ravens´ starting QB despite Flacco return|
|Rams headline 2019 NFL International Series home teams|
|Rams headline International Series home teams for 2019|
|Atlanta want ´exciting football´ from new boss amid Bielsa links|
|Atlanta still yet to receive ´serious´ bid for ´Bale-like´ Almiron|
|Tottenham v Manchester United to be held at Wembley|
|Matip facing six weeks out with fractured collarbone|
|I´ve had quite a lot of calls – Brailsford encouraged by Team Sky interest|
|Afghanistan Football Federation president provisionally banned by FIFA|
|Knee injury rules Huddersfield´s Mooy out of Asian Cup|
|Arnautovic tipped for Man United move by Austria team-mate Sabitzer|
|Arsenal legend Adams to become RFL president|
|My love for football still burns strong – Toure speaks out amid talk of Premier League return|
|Noble contract extended to 2021|
|Split with Sky is an opportunity, says Brailsford|
|Van der Burgh rolls back the years, two more medals for Hosszu|
|Maitland-Niles praises Sterling for speaking out|
|Life is tough for him right now - Celtic striker Griffiths to take time away from football|
|Froome: Team Sky keen to continue with new partner|
|Emery confirms Koscielny to play against Qarabag|
|Llorente keen on Athletic return|
|I love the guy - Pocock backs under-pressure Cheika|
|Fit-again Ozil in line for Arsenal return against Qarabag|
|Raheem Sterling named Premier League Player of the Month|
|Two more Ligue 1 games postponed due to unrest|
|Pace attack among India´s best ever - Arun|
|Premier League has fostered ´excessive aggression´ among fans, says Scudamore|
|Sharks back Flanagan amid NRL investigation|
|Not good for my recovery! Hoddle delights in Spurs´ Champions League heroics|
|Harris backing Starc to fire in Perth|
|No fears over Atleti´s second-place finish for Simeone|
|Clippers buckled under Raptors pressure - Rivers|
|Icardi: Inter deserved to qualify|
|Team Sky future unclear as Sky opt to end involvement in cycling|
|PSG had to change mentality - Thiago Silva|
|Rockets make change, pick up win over Trail Blazers|
|Everything´s easier when you´ve got Messi – Miranda|
|From George Cross to Arsenal – Montemurro´s rise to make Gunners great again|
|Koulibaly challenges Napoli to win Europa League|
|Raptors star Leonard out against Clippers, may miss matchup with Warriors|
|Butler opens up about heated Timberwolves practice|
|Spurs achieved ´mission impossible´, says Pochettino|
|Dembele stunner pleases Barca boss Valverde|
|Van Dijk lauds ´fantastic´ Alisson|
|Van Dijk´s tackle on Mertens worthy of red card – Ancelotti|
|Klopp ´would have paid double´ for Alisson|
|Klopp: I don´t care about Madrid revenge mission|
|Tension and anxiety got to Inter, laments Spalletti|
|Tuchel hails magnificent PSG as Red Star win seals last-16 spot|
|Mbappe admits frank discussions inspired PSG´s Champions League progress|
|Klopp: Napoli had no answers to outstanding Liverpool|
|Pochettino proud of ´massive, massive achievement´ for Spurs|
|Barcelona equal Champions League record|
|Composed and controlled Liverpool see off Napoli to progress|
|Tenerife back to winning ways, AEK beat Hapoel|
|Howedes ´hurt´ after emotional Schalke return ends in defeat|
|Kane ´buzzing´ over ´not bad´ draw at Barcelona|
|Robertson hails Alisson´s ´unbelievable´ save as Liverpool progress|
|Red Star Belgrade 1 Paris Saint-Germain 4: Neymar brilliance helps secure Group C top spot|
|Inter 1 PSV 1: Icardi header not enough for the Nerazzurri|
|Liverpool 1 Napoli 0: Superb Salah sends Reds through|
|Club Brugge 0 Atletico Madrid 0: Simeone´s men miss out on top spot|
|Barcelona 1 Tottenham 1: Lucas rescues Spurs late on to secure progress|
|Monaco 0 Borussia Dortmund 2: Guerreiro double snatches top spot from Atletico|
|Butler´s groin strain ´nothing significant´ – 76ers coach Brown|
|Woakes, Curran among leading lights at IPL auction|
|Blue Jays release five-time All-Star Tulowitzki|
|Mourinho: Professionals care more than the fans|