Wide receiver Victor Bolden Jr., who made the 49ers last year as an undrafted rookie after making a splash in the preseason, has been suspended without pay for the first four games for violating the league's performance-enhancing substances policy.
“Unknowingly, I used a supplement that was on the NFL’s banned substance list," Bolden said in a statement released by the team Friday. "As a professional athlete, I take full responsibility for not verifying the ingredients of the supplement. 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's agent, Michael Hoffman, told the NFL Network that his client took "contaminated creatine" and said that “in no way was Victor cheating. He will be pursuing legal remedies against the company."
Bolden suited up for nine regular-season games last year and was used mainly as a kick- and punt-return specialist. He already had an uphill climb to make this year's team after the 49ers used two of their nine draft picks on receivers, Dante Pettis and Richie James. During Wednesday's practice, Bolden, Pettis, James and rookie D.J. Reed took turns returning punts.
Bolden can practice with the team throughout the offseason and preseason and can play in preseason games. He's eligible to return to the 49ers’ active roster on Oct. 1 following the team’s Week 4 game against the Los Angeles Chargers.
“Victor made an unintentional mistake, but learned a valuable lesson," general manager John Lynch said in a statement. "Professional athletes must be meticulous in their supplement choices. 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.”