Amfoot - NFL: Panthers defender Johnson banned four games for doping

CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 12: Charles Johnson #95 of the Carolina Panthers reacts after a play against the Philadelphia Eagles in the first quarter during their game at Bank of America Stadium on October 12, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Streeter Lecka/Getty Images/AFPCHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 12: Charles Johnson #95 of the Carolina Panthers reacts after a play against the Philadelphia Eagles in the first quarter during their game at Bank of America Stadium on October 12, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Streeter Lecka/Getty Images/AFP (AFP Photo/STREETER LECKA)

- Carolina Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson has been suspended four games for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances, the league said Friday. Johnson will begin his suspension immediately and miss the Panthers' key NFC South division clash against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. The teams are tied atop the division at 8-3. Johnson will be eligible to return to the Panthers' active roster on December 25 and available to play in the final regular-season game against the Atlanta Falcons on December 31. "I accept full responsibility," Johnson said in a statement released by the team. "I have been recovering from back surgery, dealing with the daily grind of football and mistakenly thought this could help. It was an error in judgment on my part."

AFP