In a moment that may be the first of its kind in the NFL, San Francisco 49ers long snapper Kyle Nelson has been suspended 10 games for a second violation of the league’s performance-enhancing substance policy.
The 49ers announced the suspension on Tuesday, saying Nelson would begin serving his ban immediately and releasing a statement from Nelson in which the 32-year-old said he didn’t knowingly take a banned substance and had been using the same supplements for his entire tenure in San Francisco.
Nelson added that he would pursue legal action if he finds out a supplement caused his positive test:
“I have been made aware by the NFL that I tested positive for a banned substance, and as a result will be suspended. I have been taking the same supplements for my entire time with the 49ers, while undergoing often simultaneous testing by the NFL with no issues. I do not deviate from my nutrition routine, and I would never knowingly take a banned substance. I am currently having the supplements tested, and I hope to uncover the cause of the positive test. When the product is identified I fully intend to seek legal action against the manufacturer to protect against this happening to other players in the future.”
The long length of the suspension means this is Nelson’s second violation, with ESPN reporting that the first occurred before Nelson’s Niners tenure.
Nelson has been the Niners’ long-snapper since 2014 and signed a four-year deal worth $3.48 million in 2015. Nelson will be a free agent after this season and will have a ban of at least six games hanging over his head for next season, a possibly daunting situation for a player at a position where teams prize stability above all else.
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