Saints DT David Onyemata suspended 6 games after banned substance test

·2 min read

The NFL announced on Friday that New Orleans Saints defensive tackle David Onyemata has been suspended for the first six games of the upcoming season due to a positive test for a banned substance. Onyemata disclosed the positive test on Instagram Friday morning, before the NFL handed down the suspension.

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I was informed by the NFLPA yesterday that I have tested positive for a banned substance resulting in suspension for part of the 2021 NFL season. 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 or dietary supplements that may contain substances banned by the NFL.

Onyemata didn't say when he was tested or what substance he tested positive for. He has been suspended one other time, for one game back in 2019 for violating the NFL's policies on marijuana. 

While there's never a right time to be suspended by the NFL, this one comes at a particularly sensitive time for the Saints. They're undergoing their first quarterback transition in 15 years, and Onyemata, a key member of the Saints' defense, will be sorely missed. He's played 15 games over each of the past two seasons and is especially good at putting pressure on the opposing team's quarterback. He had a career year in 2020, tallying 6.5 sacks, 44 tackles, and 16 quarterback hits. 

According to Onyemata, this appears to have been an honest mistake. But a positive test is a positive test, and he knows that he's ultimately responsible for what he puts into his body. 

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