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Chargers’ Corey Liuget suspended four games for using performance-enhancing substance

Chargers starting defensive tackle Corey Liuget has been suspended for the first four games of the 2018 season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

“I made a mistake and take full responsibility. As part of my training program, I placed my trust in someone who, in hindsight, was not well-versed in the NFL’s policy on banned substances,” Liuget said in a statement.

“As players, we’re told time and again that the NFL holds you responsible for anything in your body. Even if you take it accidentally, it’s on you. Pretty cut and dry. You hear it and think, ‘That won’t be me, that can’t possibly happen to me.’ Yet here I am, suspended four games. And that’s my fault.”

Liuget will be eligible participate in offseason and preseason practices and preseason games before serving his suspension.

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“Even though Corey’s mistake was unintentional, he understands how disappointing this is for everyone in the organization,” Chargers general manager Tom Telesco said in a statement. “I’m pleased he has accepted responsibility on the matter, and we respect and support the League’s decision. We also support Corey. Few people have a bigger heart and have done more for the community. While nobody feels worse than Corey himself right now, we know he will bounce back from this.”

The Chargers have Darius Philon and Damion Square as in-house options to replace Liuget if the team declines to address the position in free agency or the draft.

Liuget, who the Chargers drafted in the first round in 2011, has been a fixture on the defensive line since joining the organization. In 2017, Liuget started all 12 games in which he appeared, finishing with 21 tackles and 1.5 sacks.

With a salary cap hit of $9.5 million in 2018, he’s one of the team’s highest-paid players. He had signed a five-year, $58.5 million extension in 2015.

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dan.woike@latimes.com

Twitter: @DanWoikeSports


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