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Spikes suspended after flunking drug test

Friday, December 10, 2010

 

Brandon Spikes' tumultuous season continued Friday when the rookie linebacker learned he will be suspended for the remainder of the regular season after violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Spikes – a second-round draft pick out of Florida – released the following statement:

"I’ve been contacted by the NFL and informed that I will be suspended four games for the detection of an illegal substance in a drug test. The substance was a medication that I should have gotten clarification on before taking. It was not a performance enhancer or an illegal drug. The integrity of the game is very important to me. I understand the league’s ruling and apologize to my teammates, the fans and the Patriots organization for this mistake.”

Spikes also landed in hot water in August when a sexually-explicit video featuring him and an unidentified woman – reportedly filmed while he was still in college – made its way around the internet. The league investigated the matter under its personal conduct policy, but Spikes never suffered any disciplinary recourse for his involvement in the video. Spikes’ agent, Terry Watson, called the situation “embarrassing” for his client.

Until Friday, Spikes had put the sex-tape controversy behind him, totaling 61 tackles and an interception playing next to fellow inside linebacker Jerod Mayo in New England’s 3-4 defense. Spikes started eight of the team’s first nine games, but has still been an active contributor despite his recent role as a backup to Gary Guyton. In his best performance to date, Spikes finished with 16 tackles on Oct. 17 in an overtime win over Baltimore.

As for this latest setback, Spikes will begin his suspension immediately and be eligible to return to the active roster on Jan. 3 following the team’s regular-season finale against Miami. He will also be eligible to play in the postseason.

 

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