New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman has apologised for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Edelman, who faces a four-game suspension, does not know how the alleged violation occurred and indicated the matter is under appeal.
“I am very sorry – I don’t know what happened,” Edelman wrote on his Instagram account. “I’ve taken many, many tests obviously over the course of my career, and nothing like this has ever happened. I apologise to [team owners] the Kraft family, my coaches, team-mates and fans.
“As this matter is being appealed, I can’t say anymore but no matter what, I will be ready to play and pursue another championship with our team and for Patriots fans around the world.”
Edelman missed all of last season due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee sustained in the preseason.
The 32-year-old has been on the field during the Patriots’ mandatory minicamp this week after previously attending voluntary OTAs.
If suspended, Edelman would forfeit roughly $470,588 of his $2m base salary this season. He would miss contests against the Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit Lions and Miami Dolphins before being eligible to rejoin the team on October 1.
Edelman has 425 catches for 4,540 yards and 24 touchdowns in his nine NFL seasons.