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Shelton Loses Appeal
on Drug Case
By RICK GANO, AP Sports Writer
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) - Daimon Shelton revealed three months
ago he would appeal a positive test for a substance banned by
the NFL that was contained in an over-the-counter fat burner
After numerous delays, the NFL finally made its ruling and now
the Chicago Bears' 258-pound fullback will miss the playoffs.
He's been suspended for four games for violating the league's
policy on anabolic steroids and related substances.
The Bears signed fullback Stanley Pritchett in mid-October
figuring they might lose Shelton for a month during the
But the timing of the suspension, announced Tuesday, was a
shocker, especially with the Bears getting ready for their
first playoff game at Soldier Field on Jan. 19.
``I don't really know why it took so long, but they work in
their own ways and make their decisions based on what they
think is the best information,'' Bears coach Dick Jauron said
``I feel bad for Daimon. He's worked very hard all year and of
course I feel bad for us too. But we'll deal with it.''
Signed as a free agent in May, Shelton had 12 receptions for
76 yards and one touchdown this season, even though he had no
carries. He caught one pass for seven yards in Sunday's 33-13
win over Jacksonville, where he played for the previous four
years. He was the Jaguars' starting fullback for the past
His four-game suspension covers the playoffs and 2002 regular
season. So if the Bears lose their playoff opener, Shelton
also would sit out the first three games of next season.
Bears quarterback Jim Miller was suspended for the final four
games in 1999 for violating the policy.
``He came up to me when he found out and got his letter. Who
better to talk to? I've been through it and it's not fun,''
``He doesn't get a lot of attention, but he's been a big part
of success. He's got the big body and puts out punishing
blocks. We all feel sorry for him.''
Offensive tackle James ``Big Cat'' Williams also was puzzled
by the timing.
``I don't understand. You postpone and postpone, and then all
of a sudden the playoffs roll around and now you want to
enforce it,'' Williams said.
``It seems stupid, it seems odd. We'll miss him. The show must
go on. Stanley will step up.''
Shelton, whose blocking helped Anthony Thomas rush for a
Bears' rookie-record 1,183 yards, wasn't around Wednesday when
the team resumed practice for its first playoff game since
Shelton told the Chicago Sun-Times on Tuesday night that he
couldn't believe the timing.
``This is shocking to me,'' he said. ``I am definitely
surprised they waited until now to do this. I just don't know
what's going on. ... I'm just really disappointed. I can't