Rhodes suspended for violating substance abuse policy

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Oakland Raiders running back Dominic Rhodes was suspended Tuesday for the first four games of the season
for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

The league does not disclose reasons for substance abuse
suspensions, but Rhodes pleaded guilty in the offseason to reckless
driving charges in Indiana after prosecutors agreed to drop drunken
driving charges against him.

Rhodes, who spent his six years in Indianapolis, signed a
two-year contract in the offseason with the Raiders that could be
worth up to $7.5 million. He is expected to split time with last
year's starter LaMont Jordan as the Raiders try to improve a
running game that averaged 3.9 yards per carry in 2006.

Because of the suspension, Rhodes will forfeit $352,941 of his scheduled $1.5 million base salary for 2007.

Rhodes started all 16 regular-season games last season, rushing
for 641 yards and five touchdowns. After backing up Edgerrin James
since entering the league, Rhodes shared the job last season with
rookie Joseph Addai. He has 2,274 yards rushing in his career.

Rhodes had one of his best performances in the Colts' Super Bowl
win over the Chicago Bears, rushing for 113 yards in Indianapolis'
29-17 victory.

Rhodes will be able to participate in training camp and in all
preseason games. His suspension will begin Aug. 31, the day after
Oakland's final exhibition game, and he will be eligible to return
Oct. 1, following the fourth game of the season against Miami.
Rhodes will also miss games against Detroit, Denver and Cleveland.

Rhodes was pulled over by an Indiana state trooper in February
for driving 81 mph in a 55-mph zone. He was originally charged with
operating a vehicle while intoxicated and operating a vehicle with
a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit.

Rhodes pleaded guilty in March to reckless driving and was
sentenced to 180 days in jail. But 178 were suspended and he
received credit for two days.

In 2002, Rhodes was charged with domestic battery in connection
with a disturbance at his home involving his child's mother,
Latrina Moore. He avoided prosecution and was placed in a
diversionary program and underwent mental health counseling.

Information from ESPN.com senior writer Len Pasquarelli and The Associated Press was used in this report.