Panthers offensive lineman Lee Ziemba has been suspended for four games after testing positive for a banned stimulant, Ziemba said Saturday in a statement released by his agent.
Ziemba, who is on injured reserve following surgery in August, said he never knowingly ingested a performance-enhancing substance. But Ziemba has decided not to appeal the suspension, and will begin serving it immediately.
Ziemba will forfeit $116,250 a fourth of his salary while serving the suspension.
Ziemba, the Panthers' seventh-round pick in 2011 from Auburn, did not identify the substance in his statement. Attempts to reach him for further comment were unsuccessful.
In his statement, Ziemba said he learned of the positive test in mid-September, about a month after tearing his lateral meniscus in training camp.
I was extremely confused and upset when I was informed of this result since I have never knowingly ingested any performance-enhancing substance, Ziemba said. My training regimen has included supplements that I carefully chose and believed to be free from any prohibited substance under the NFL/NFLPA policies.
After extensive discussions and careful consideration of the terms of the NFL/NFLPA policies, I have chosen to be immediately accountable for the situation.
Ziemba is the second Panthers' player to violate the league's PED policy this year. Defensive tackle Andre Neblett tested positive during the offseason and was suspended for the first four games of the season.