Falcons LB Newman suspended for violating steroids policy

Updated: August 30, 2003, 9:20 PM ET

NEW YORK - Atlanta Falcons linebacker Keith Newman has been suspended by the NFL for the first four games of the season for violating the league's policy on anabolic steroids and related substances.

Newman, who was signed in the offseason as a free agent, is not eligible to return to the team until September 29.

"This was an inadvertent mistake," Newman said. "Evidently, I took a supplement of some sort that had a derivative that is against NFL policy. Either way it was my mistake, and I will have to serve my penalty. I would like to apologize to my teammates, the Falcons organization and the Atlanta Falcons fans."

Newman, 26, spent his first four seasons with the Buffalo Bills, starting 42 of 52 games. He set career-highs with 96 tackles and eight sacks in 2000.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index