SAN DIEGO – Banished from the NFL for four weeks, Chargers star linebacker Shawne Merriman said he's not a steroid cheat.
He also suggested he's a victim of the league's drug testing policy.
Merriman dropped by Chargers headquarters on Wednesday to address his teammates before beginning a four-game suspension for testing positive for the steroid nandrolone. He and his attorney have blamed a tainted supplement.
The second-year pro, tied for the NFL lead with 8½ sacks, dropped his appeal Tuesday, after which the league announced his suspension. Merriman could have gone through with a hearing on Nov. 7, which would have allowed him to play in Sunday's home game against the Browns. But he concluded he didn't stand a chance of winning, because the NFL holds players responsible for the supplements they take.