Four-game NFL ban for Ravens' Smith over doping violation

New York (AFP) –


Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith has been given a four-game suspension for an anti-doping violation, the National Football League announced on Monday.

Smith, 29, who suffered a season-ending torn Achilles in Sunday's win over Detroit, will serve the ban while on injured reserve, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said.

No details of the doping violation were released.

The suspension will cost Smith $182,352 (153,600 euros) in lost earnings, ESPN reported.

Smith, a key part of the Ravens defense, was injured in the second quarter of Sunday's game when he crumpled to the turf while trying to cover a deep pass.

The Ravens later revealed Smith has been nursing a sore left Achilles for much of 2017.

However, Harbaugh rejected suggestions that Smith's injury on Sunday could have been anticipated.

"Doctors will tell you that you just can't predict that. If you have the tightness or soreness, it doesn't lead to Achilles (tears)," Harbaugh said on Sunday.

"Doing it for all these years, I've seen it not tear and I've seen them tear."

The Ravens (7-5) are currently chasing the Pittsburgh Steelers (9-2) in the AFC North. The two teams meet on Sunday in a crunch divisional clash.