Former Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez has another embarrassing moment to go alongside the infamous “Butt Fumble.”
The NFL has suspended him for the first four games of the 2018 season for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. The substance he used wasn’t identified.
Sanchez, now a free agent, acknowledged in an Instagram post Friday he had been told by the NFL that he tested positive for a banned substance.
However, like the majority of athletes in such cases, he strongly denied having knowingly taken PEDs.
“I want to say unequivocally that I have never cheated or attempted to gain a competitive advantage by using a banned performance enhancing substance,” Sanchez wrote.
He said he was “blind-sided by the news” of his positive test, which he blamed on an “unknowing supplement contamination.”
“During the past 9 years as an NFL player I have been subject to 73 drug tests — an average of over 8 tests per season — and all but one have been clean,” wrote the 31-year-old QB. “I have taken the same regimen of supplements for the past five years without any issues.
“The timing and results of my tests establish circumstances of unknowing supplement contamination, not the use of performance enhancing substances.”
Despite Sanchez’s clean record when it comes to PEDs, many fans weren’t buying his claims of innocence.
“You sound just like the rest of the guys who have failed doping tests,” one user responded to his Instagram post.
“Nice write up from your lawyer,” said another.
You cheaters always profess shock when you get caught. Sickening. You deserve every penalty handed down.
— Mike Barbacovi (@mike_barbacovi) April 13, 2018
Plenty of others, however, said they believed him.
“I’m sure this story is bogus and I’m saddened you have to go through this,” said one Instagram response.
You were the first Quarterback I ever cheered for and you will always have a special place in my heart. I believe that you did nothing wrong and I am pulling for you to receive justice. Hang in there man.
— Matthew Epperly (@AmateurDetectiv) April 13, 2018
Others said Sanchez’s statement was credible for a less-flattering reason.
You didn’t have to tell us you’ve never tried to gain a competitive advantages we’ve all seen you play.
— Carl Regolino (@Carl_Regolino) April 13, 2018
Sanchez, who was drafted by the Jets with the No. 5 overall pick in 2009, never lived up to the lofty expectations. After New York made it to the AFC championship game in his first two seasons, Sanchez eventually lost his grip on the starting job and was released in 2014.
He was picked up by the Eagles and started 10 games in two years before being traded to the Broncos. Over the past three seasons, Sanchez backed up younger quarterbacks in Denver, Dallas and Chicago.
Sanchez is hoping to find another such opportunity next season, but the four-game suspension won’t make it any easier for him.
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