The Chargers will play the first four games of the 2008 season without inside linebacker Stephen Cooper, who has tested positive for a banned substance.
Several sources said Cooper tested positive for ephedra in December.
Cooper was not available for comment, and his agent did not return multiple messages. But the player did issue this statement through the team:
“I regret that I mistakenly took a stimulant that I did not realize at the time was banned by the NFL. I support the NFL's anti-doping policies and understand that I must serve a suspension even though the stimulant that I took was not used before any game and was not used to enhance my performance. I apologize to the NFL, my team, my coaches, and to my fans, and I look forward to continuing to help the Chargers toward our goal of winning the Super Bowl in the upcoming season.”
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