By Chad Courrier
---- — MANKATO, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle DeMarcus Love was surprised in April when he found out that he had a performance-enhancing substance in his body, and he was disappointed when his appeal wasn't approved.
On Thursday, the NFL announced that Love has been suspended without pay for four games for violating the NFL's policy on PEDS. He is the eighth player that the NFL has suspended since March for violating the PED policy.
"I was shocked," Love said. "I've never cheated, and I never will, intentionally."
Love said he was tested in February and got the results in April, when he appealed. He said he's not certain which substance was in his system, and he's not sure how it got there. He said it must have been something in a supplement, though coach Leslie Frazier said that the NFL has steps in place for players to check on the contents of supplements.
"I was disappointed when I got the news, and we talked about my displeasure and the entire organization's concerns for him," Frazier said. "Hopefully, he'll learn from this and grow from this."
Love will remain eligible to practice this month and play in preseason games, but once the regular season starts he must be away from his team through Sept. 29, when the Vikings play Pittsburgh at London. Love was inactive for all 16 games of his rookie season after being drafted in the sixth round out of Arkansas. Last year, he was on injured reserve with a damaged pectoral muscle.
"It's obviously frustrating," Love said. "It's bad for me, but it might give other guys a heads-up. You have to watch what you put into your body.
"It doesn't help my situation at all, but at the end of the day, it's up to the coaches."