Lawrence Taylor, the New York Giants' All-Pro linebacker, has been suspended for 30 days by the National Football League for violating the league's substance abuse policy, the NFL announced today.
The suspension will cause Taylor to miss the first four games of the season, starting with Monday night's game against the Super Bowl champion Washington Redskins. Taylor will be eligible to return for the fifth game, against the Redskins at Washington.Ironically, Washington defensive end Dexter Manley returned to camp today after serving a 30-day suspension for substance abuse.
"Lawrence Taylor of the New York Giants has been notified that he has been placed on that club's non-football illness list for a period of 30 days, effective today," NFL spokesman Joe Browne said.
"The action was taken after Taylor violated provisions of the NFL's substance abuse policy. He has been instructed to remain out of the Giants' training facility until Sept. 28."
Browne would say only that substances showed up during a recent drug test. Other league sources said it was during the team's routine training camp test.
Taylor, who voluntarily submitted himself to treatment for drug abuse in the winter of 1986, returned to have his finest season, becoming only the second defensive player in NFL history to be named league MVP as the Giants won the Super Bowl.
Taylor became the ninth player suspended this season for violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy.
Seven, including Manley, served their 30 days during training camp because, like Taylor, it was their second violation. The eighth, Tony Collins of Indianapolis, was suspended for the season for a third violation.
The difference, according to league officials, is that teams were given their preseason tests at different times. Because the Giants were tested later and the tests processed later, he will miss four regular-season games.