Steelers tight end Weslye Saunders was suspended by the NFL for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.
The NFL ruled Saunders out for the first four games of the 2012 season. Saunders, who is coming off a promising rookie campaign, will be allowed to take part in offseason and preseason practices and play in exhibition games.
His suspension starts Sept. 1, and Saunders will not be paid for the games he misses.
Saunders is believed to have taken a stimulant prescription drug unknowingly or without receiving a medical waiver from the NFL.
James "Butch" Williams, Saunders' agent, declined comment Tuesday.
The 6-foot-5, 270-pound Saunders caught four passes for 29 yards and a touchdown after signing with the Steelers last July as an undrafted free agent. He played in all 17 Steelers' games last season.
Saunders had been widely considered a premier NFL prospect after his junior season at South Carolina. Saunders, however, went undrafted last April after getting kicked off the team prior to his senior season.
South Carolina booted Saunders for violating team rules and lying to the NCAA about his dealings with an agent.
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