- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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OXNARD, Calif. -- Dallas Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick apologized Tuesday and expressed remorse after being suspended for the first four games of the coming season for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy.
Scandrick acknowledged that the suspension stems from testing positive for amphetamines, the result of recreational drug use in April during a vacation in Mexico with his ex-girlfriend. Scandrick declined to specify the drug he used, but league sources told ESPN's Ed Werder that it was MDMA, which is also known as Ecstasy or Molly.
"I made a bad decision," Scandrick said after the Cowboys' walk-through practice Tuesday, hours after the league announced the suspension. "I'm responsible for what goes in my body. I know I'm responsible for what goes in my body. It's a very humbling experience.
"I'm very sorry. I apologize to the Jones family. I'm very sorry to my teammates. I'm very sorry to the fans of Cowboys nation and I'm very sorry to my family."
While MDMA alone would be considered a drug of abuse but would not subject Scandrick to suspension as a first-time positive test, the drug sometimes contains amphetamine components, which fall under the league's PED policy and led to Scandrick's punishment.
He became the 21st player of 104 suspended for performance-enhancing drugs to test positive for MDMA.
Scandrick, a seven-year veteran coming off the best season of his career, tested positive in April and was informed Monday that the appeals process had been exhausted, making his suspension official.
Cowboys coaches and front office personnel have been aware of Scandrick's looming suspension since his failed test in April.
"It's disappointing," coach Jason Garrett said. "It certainly is. The rules are such that we have to control what goes into our body. We own that. We're completely responsible for that. Orlando was very apologetic about it. He realizes that it was a mistake and was very upfront about it, and it's behind him.
"What we're going to do now is we're going to make the best out of this situation, both in regards to him and in regards to our football team. It's important for him not to lose our spirit because he brings a lot to our team, and he will over the next few weeks of practice and then certainly when he comes back during the season."
Scandrick, who can participate in all of the Cowboys' preseason practices and games, addressed the team in a Monday morning meeting.
"The support from my teammates has been phenomenal," Scandrick said. "At the same time, I know this is a terrible thing and I'm hurting this team. Once again, I'm just standing here apologetic and remorseful."
Scandrick won the starting job last season after Morris Claiborne was injured during the preseason. He performed well, serving as a bright spot on a unit that ranked last in the league in total defense. Scandrick and Claiborne, who missed the preseason opener due to tendinitis in his right knee, were competing for a starting job again this summer.
Scandrick emphasized that he did not take a performance-enhancing drug with the intention to gain a competitive advantage. However, he took "full responsibility and accountability" for violating the league's policy.
"Obviously on that moment in April, I was very disrespectful to this game," Scandrick said. "I was very disrespectful to this team, to this organization, to the National Football League. I have to face the consequences for what I ingested."