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Nigerian-born NFL defender Onyemata gets six-game ban


New Orleans Saints defensive tackle David Onyemata said Friday he has been told he has been banned by the NFL after testing positive for a banned substance.

Reports on the NFL Network and the league website said the suspension was for six games for a violation of the league’s performance-enhancing substance policy.

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Onyemata, 28, was born in Nigeria and moved to Canada in 2011 where he learned Canadian football. He was drafted by the Saints in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

In five NFL seasons, he has made 167 tackles with 16 sacks and an interception.

Onyemata said he was informed of the ban by the NFL Players Association.

“While I was certainly surprised and disappointed with this news, I am responsible for what I put in my body,” he posted on social media.

“As I have never knowingly taken anything that could cause a positive test, we are currently in the process of testing the supplements I was taking at the time of the test.

“Regardless, I am committed to being more aware of any medication and dietary supplements that may contain substances banned by the NFL.”

The Saints have reached the playoffs in each of the past four seasons, reaching the NFC championship game in  the 2018 season before losing to the Los Angeles Rams.

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