SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The NFL has suspended San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Victor Bolden Jr. for the first four games of the 2018 season for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.
In a statement issued by the team, Bolden said he unknowingly used a supplement that was on the league's banned substance list.
"As a professional athlete, I take full responsibility for not verifying the ingredients of the supplement," Bolden said. "In the future, I will be much better educated when choosing what to put in my body. It hurts to know that I will not be on the field with my team for the first four games of the season."
Bolden is eligible to stay with the team and continue to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and the Niners' four exhibition games. Should he make the team, Bolden would be eligible to return to the active roster on Monday, Oct. 1, the day after the 49ers' Week 4 game against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Bolden made the 49ers' roster as an undrafted rookie out of Oregon State in 2017 and appeared in nine games, with most of his action coming as a returner. He did not register any receiving stats but averaged 20.8 yards on 19 kick returns.
During the Niners' offseason program, Bolden has been competing with new additions at wide receiver such as Dante Pettis and Richie James, among others, a competition that will likely continue into training camp.
Niners general manager John Lynch said in a statement that Bolden made a mistake but learned a "valuable lesson."
"Professional athletes must be meticulous in their supplement choices," Lynch said. "We know Victor is disappointed, but we hope this is a reminder to all our players how important it is to make educated decisions on what to put in their bodies."