LOS ANGELES: The National Football League slapped Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant on Monday (Tuesday in Manila) with a one year suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Bryant was suspended for the first four games of the 2015 regular season for a similar offense.
Although one of Bryant’s agents indicated on Saturday that Bryant planned to appeal, he apparently changed his mind and the league said on Monday his suspension began immediately.
The Washington Post reported that Bryant missed several tests, which the league policy counts as a failed tests, diluted a specimen for one test and tested positive for marijuana.
Another agent, Briant Fettner, confirmed that the ban stems from multiple missed drug tests, which the league policy counts as failed tests.
“We clearly miscalculated the issue. His isn’t a party issue. It’s a coping issue and a depression issue, and he’s got to take care of it,” Fettner said, calling Bryant’s violations “the biggest cry for help I’ve ever seen”.
Bryant will be eligible to apply for reinstatement by the NFL no sooner than 60 days before the anniversary of his suspension.
In 11 games last season, the former fourth-round draft pick caught 50 passes for 765 yards and six touchdowns.
Bryant has 76 catches for 1,314 yards and 14 touchdowns in 21 regular-season NFL games, and 19 catches for 244 yards and two touchdowns in three playoff games.
He was scheduled to make $600,000 this season.