Steve Gregory will be missed in San Diego

Steve Gregory clearly is not admitting that he did anything wrong. Yet, the San Diego Chargers safety is taking his lumps and will serve a four-game NFL suspension starting immediately.

Gregory failed a test under the league’s policy for performance enhancing substances in May. Gregory said in a statement that he lost an appeal.

Here is Gregory’s full statement:

“I was completely shocked to find out about this positive test from May during the off-season. I have never knowingly used any form of performance enhancing substance; however as an athlete I know that I am responsible for everything that goes into my body. I appealed these test results, and through this process I was disappointed to learn today that I am going to be suspended for the next four games. It is tremendously upsetting to me, but I fully respect and support the NFL’s policies. I will take this as a learning experience and come back stronger and as committed as ever. I apologize to my teammates, coaches, the organization, fans, and my family and friends. I look forward to moving past this and helping my team win a championship this year.”

The Chargers will miss Gregory’s presence. He is a playmaker who always seems to be around the ball. Gregory was starting to get quality playing time last season and won a starting job this year. He will likely be replaced by Paul Oliver. Rookie Darrell Stuckey may also get some playing time with Gregory out.

San Diego’s defense is playing at a high level. It is ranked No. 1 in the NFL and it has allowed just four touchdowns in four games. For the next month, it is now up to Oliver to do his part to help continue San Diego’s defensive dominance.

This is not the first time a San Diego player has been suspended for the use of performance enhancing substances. In 2008, inside linebacker Stephen Cooper was suspended for four games and in 2006 linebacker Shawne Merriman was also suspended for four games.