Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict has been suspended for the first four games of the 2018 season for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances, the league announced Thursday.
The suspension had been reported a month ago, but Burfict attempted to appeal the decision based on his claim that the medication he was prescribed for a concussion he suffered during the 2017 season resulted in the failed test, according to the New York Daily News. Burfict also argued that his failed test occurred after he had been ruled out for the season. The appeal was denied.
Burfict is no stranger to suspensions, but this is his first for PED use.
This will be the third consecutive season in which Burfict is ineligible for a season opener because of a suspension.
When his four-game suspension is over, Burfict will have missed 33 of the Bengals' last 70 games with suspensions and injuries.
He has been a polarizing figure during his previous six seasons with the Bengals, highly productive with his play but repeatedly being disciplined for his transgressions.