ALBANY, N.Y. -- New York Giants safety Tyler Sash has been suspended by the NFL without pay for the Giants' first four games for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Sash is eligible to return after the team's Week 4 game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 30, but can participate in all preseason practices and games. The Giants backup safety said in a post on Twitter that he took Adderall to help him with public speaking this offseason.
"I took a prescription drug (Adderall) legally under a doctor's care for an anxiety condition during the offseason in March of this year," Sash said in a statement posted on his Twitter page. "The purpose was to help me with public speaking appearances. I had no idea that this prescription drug was banned by NFL policy."
"Although I take full responsibility for this situation, I also want to state that I have never cheated or taken performance-enhancing drugs, and I frown on those who do," he added. "I am highly disappointed by the league's decision in this matter, but I will continue to do my best on and off the field."
This is the second blow to the Giants' secondary in as many days. On Monday, the team learned cornerback Terrell Thomas suffered an injury to his twice surgically repaired right ACL and potentially could be lost for the season.
Now Sash, the team's third safety, is suspended for the first four games. The Giants could try to bring back veteran safety Deon Grant, who remains unsigned. A reunion seems to make a lot of sense since Grant played a pivotal role on the Giants' defense the past two seasons as the team's third safety in Perry Fewell's three-safety look.
Sash, who had 17 tackles last season, is the second player suspended by the NFL for performance-enhancing drugs. The league suspended running back Andre Brown earlier this year but Brown appealed and had his suspension cleared. Like Sash, Brown said he took Adderall, commonly prescribed for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Brown said the suspension came from a misunderstanding over paperwork.
"From this point on, I will be more conscientious about every single thing I put in my body," Sash said. "Once again, I want to reiterate that I have never been and will never be associated in any way with performance-enhancing drugs. The timing of this positive test was March 2012, a time during which there is no physical performance required of me."
"I hope this explanation reinforces my innocence and shows that my intentions were pure."