The NCAA has suspended Missouri sophomore wide receiver Levi Copelin from athletic competition for the season.
According to a statement from Copelin, he bought an over-the-counter nutritional supplement and used it as part of his workout routine. Copelin says that he did not have it cleared with his trainers and that the "supplement is legal and available to the public, but it isn’t approved by the NCAA, and as a result of using it, I failed an NCAA drug test."
In the widely published statement, Copelin accepts the blame for that decision.
"This was a stupid mistake on my part, and I’m very sorry that I put myself and my team in this situation," he said. "This is a hard lesson to learn, as I never had the wrong intentions. I also understand there aren’t any shortcuts to success. There’s nothing I can do except dedicate myself to representing me, my family, my team, and Mizzou the right way going forward. I’m very grateful to my coaches and my teammates for giving me a chance to overcome this."
Head coach Gary Pinkel also released a statement, according to numerous media outlets, in which he states the plans for he and his staff to support the player during this time. He also points out that decisions of this nature are the players’ responsibility.
"This is a very unfortunate situation, but one that Levi created for himself," the statement reads. "He’s paying the price for this mistake, and I commend him for owning up to it and taking responsibility. Our strength coaches and trainers rely on our players to be careful of what they do on their own, and to always get approval from them first. We’re disappointed that Levi didn’t follow this guideline, but we will support him during this time, and have high expectations that he will handle all of his responsibilities in the classroom, in the community and on the field in a first-class manner."
According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Copelin had been working with the No. 1 offense in the final two weeks of spring practice after Dorial Green-Beckham was removed from the team. The report states that he was suspended for a week during the 2012 season after he, Green-Beckham and Torey Boozer were arrested after police found them with marijuana in the car. He faces an Aug. 6 court date for a January arrest for misdemeanor police disturbance, the report says.