According to sources, Julius Peppers tested positive for phentermine, a banned dietary substance, in early September. Peppers was notified of the positive test by regular mail in a letter dated Nov. 8. It was confirmed that Peppers did not test positive for ephedrine.
Phentermine is a popular prescription weight-loss medication, which has been on the market since 1959. It is typically prescribed as an appetite suppressant. However, because phentermine is listed as a banned stimulant, Peppers faces a four-game suspension.
Peppers has asked the league to test a second urine sample that was taken at the same time and also has provided the league with a list of supplements he has taken to see if any combination of substances could have caused an inaccurate test result.
"I'm expecting him to be with us until I hear different," coach John Fox said Monday. "It could be a week, it could be 20 weeks. I don't know."
If Peppers is in fact suspended next Tuesday, it would mean that he would miss games against Cleveland, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Chicago. He would however be qualified to return for the Dec. 29 season climax at New Orleans.
Panther defensive tackle Brentson Buckner has already served two games of his four-game suspension for using a banned dietary supplement. He will not be eligible to return until December 8th.
Although Buckner did not appeal his suspension, he does feel that the NFL's policy is unjust.
"I could see it if I tested positive for a steroid somebody might shoot in their arm -- a hard-core steroid," Buckner told The Charlotte Observer. "If I did that, yes, I deserve not to play because I'd be cheating the game of football. But my thing is that I take a diet pill and you treat me like a straight-up criminal ... don't expel me from school for chewing bubble gum."
Buckner told The Charlotte Observer that he believes the substance he took was in a dietary supplement he bought at a nutritional store in July to help him keep his weight down before training camp. However, he said the substance wasn't on the product label's list of ingredients."The thing really needs to be looked at and reworked. It's unjust", said Buckner.