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NFL Seahawks defender suspended for four games

Bruce Irvin of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates a sack on January 6, 2013 in Landover, Maryland
Bruce Irvin of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates a sack on January 6, 2013 in Landover, Maryland. Irvin will miss the first four games of the 2013 National Football League season after being suspended on Friday for an NFL substance abuse policy violation.

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Bruce Irvin will miss the first four games of the 2013 National Football League season after being suspended on Friday for an NFL substance abuse policy violation.

Irvin made 16 tackles, half of them quarterback sacks, in 16 games for the Seahawks last year in his first NFL campaign.

The ban was for a performance-enhancing susbtance violation. The league does not announce details of the substance involved under medical privacy provisions of the collective bargaining agreement with players.

While Irvin can take part in pre-season workouts and games, he will miss regular-season games against Carolina, San Francisco, Jacksonville and Houston and the paychecks he would have received for those games.

Irvin will be able to return to the team September 30 and he would be eligible for his first game of the season on October 6 at Indianapolis.

"I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and Seahawks fans for making a mistake when I took a substance that is prohibited in the NFL without a medical exemption," Irvin said in a statement.

"I am extremely disappointed in the poor judgment I showed and take full responsibility for my actions.

"I will not appeal the discipline and instead will focus my energy on preparing for the season so I can begin earning your trust and respect again. I look forward to contributing to the team the moment I return."

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