(Reuters) - Kansas City Chiefs starting right tackle Donald Stephenson has been suspended the first four games of the regular season for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing substances, the National Football League team said on Friday.
"Obviously losing Donald is disappointing but we are in full compliance with the league’s policy," said the Chiefs in statement posted on the team's website.
Selected by the Chiefs in the third round of the 2012 draft, Stephenson started seven games for Kansas City last year and was expected to a cornerstone of the offensive line this season.
"I failed to check with the NFL, NFLPA or Chiefs medical team before I took a medication that requires a therapeutic use exemption," Stephenson said in a statement through his agent.
His loss is a blow to the Chiefs, who also parted ways with tackle Branden Albert and guards Jon Asamoah and Geoff Schwartz during the offseason.
Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto. Editing by Gene Cherry.