New Orleans Saints will be without star defensive tackle David Onyemata for at least some of the 2021 season after he revealed on Instagram Thursday night that he has been suspended for testing positive for a banned substance.
Onyemata, 28, said he was “surprised” by the failed test result, adding that he has “never knowingly” taken a banned substance.
“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 wrote in his Instagram Stories. “While I was certainly surprised and disappointed with this news, I am responsible for what I put in my body.”
He continued. “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.”
A fourth-round draft pick out of the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Onyemata is one of the Saints’ key defenders. He’s started in 30 games over the past two years and has totaled 16 sacks and 167 tackles over five seasons with the Saints. He recorded his first interception last season in New Orleans’ 38-3 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
FILE – New Orleans Saints defensive tackle David Onyemata plays against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., in this Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, file photo.(AP Photo/Brian Blanco, File)
Onyemata was previously suspended one game in 2019 for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. The length of his second suspension was not yet known on Friday.