The NFL has suspended San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Victor Bolden without pay for the first four games of the 2018 regular season, the team announced on Friday. According to an NFL spokesman, the suspension is due to a violation of the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances.

"Unknowingly, I used a supplement that was on the NFL's banned substance list," said Bolden via a statement issued by the team. "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."

While Bolden is eligible to participate in all of the 49ers' offseason practices and preseason games, he will not be eligible to return to the 49ers' active roster until Monday, October 1, the day after the team's September 30 road matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers.

"Victor made an unintentional mistake, but learned a valuable lesson," said general manager John Lynch via the same 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."

Bolden appeared in nine games last season before sustaining an ankle injury during the 49ers' 26-16 victory over the Houston Texans. He was placed on injured reserve on December 13, 2017. Bolden, who the 49ers signed as an undrafted free agent on May 4, 2017, finished the season with 19 kick returns for 396 yards and four punt returns for an average gain of 5.8 yards. He played just 27 snaps on offense.

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