Saints DT David Onyemata suspended 6 games by NFL for PED violation

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New Orleans Saints defensive tackle David Onyemata has been suspended for the first six games of the upcoming season for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances, the league announced Friday.

Onyemata said earlier on Friday that he was unsure was triggered the positive test.

"I was informed by the NFLPA yesterday that I have tested positive for a banned substance resulting in a suspension for part of the 2021 NFL season," Onyemata said on Instagram. "While I was certainly surprised and disappointed with this news, I am responsible for what I put in my body. As I have never knowingly taken anything that could cause a positive test, we are currently in the process of testing the supplements I was taking at the time of the test. Regardless, I am committed to being more aware of any medication and dietary supplements that may contain substances banned by the NFL." 

New Orleans Saints defensive tackle David Onyemata is shown after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in New Orleans, in this Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, file photo.

Onyemata, 28, has started 30 games in the last two seasons and has become a staple of the Saints' defense. He has recorded 16 sacks in five NFL seasons, including a career-high 6 1/2 last year.

Onyemata was suspended one game in 2019 in connection with a misdemeanor marijuana citation.

His latest ban could create a problem inside for the Saints, who lost Sheldon Rankins to the New York Jets in free agency and traded Malcom Brown to the Jacksonville Jaguars this offseason. 

Follow Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz on Twitter @MikeMSchwartz.

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