COLUMBIA, Mo. - Missouri wide receiver Levi Copelin has been suspended for the 2014-2015 season, the school announced Tuesday. Copelin failed an NCAA drug test, which results in an automatic year-long suspension.
It is unclear what substance Copelin took. But NCAA rules state a positive drug test will result in the loss of a year of eligibility on the first offense.
The sophomore was expected to be a contributor for the Mizzou offense, even though he was listed third in MU's preseason depth chart. The Broken Arrow, Okla. native had three receptions for 61 yards, with the biggest catch coming from his 51-yard reception against Toledo.
Copelin was involved in two separate off-field incidents during his time at MU. In 2012, he was arrested, along with former Tigers Dorial Green-Beckham and Torey Boozer, on suspicion of misdemeanor marijuana possession. In 2014, Copelin was arrested again on misdemeanor peace disturbance.
The following is a statement from Levi Copelin:
""The reason I am suspended is that I recently bought an over-the-counter nutritional supplement from a local store, and used it as part of my workout routine. Unfortunately, I used it without clearing it with my strength coaches or trainers. This 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. This was a stupid mistake on my part, and I'm very sorry that I put myself and my team in this situation. 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."
Below is a statement from Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel regarding Copelin's season-long suspension:
"This is a very unfortunate situation, but one that Levi created for himself. 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."
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