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News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

May 17, 2013
Seahawk's miscue gets no sympathy from 49ers defender

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Seahawks defensive end Bruce Irvin, a player the 49ers had their eye on in the 2012 draft, has been suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the NFL's rules on performance enhancing substances. He's not getting support from 49ers fans or from one 49er.

"I have no sympathy for violators of NFL drug test," safety Craig Dahl tweeted after news broke of Irvin's suspension. "It's easy to know what goes in your body. If this was another sport what would happen?"

The 49ers and Seahawks, of course, have developed one of the best - if the not the best - rivalries in the NFL, and they will meet in Seattle in Week 2. Irvin, the Seahawks' first-round pick last year, stands to miss that Sunday night game. Dahl is in his first year with the 49ers but played on another NFC West squad, the Rams, for the last four seasons.

The Tacoma News-Tribune notes that Irvin is the sixth Seahawk to be busted for performance-enhancing substances since 2011. Cornerback Richard Sherman had a high-profile case last season that ultimately was reversed by the league. Of course, the 49ers aren't exactly angels on the topic. Linebacker Larry Grant, who spent the last two seasons in San Francisco and who is now a free agent, also has been suspended four games for a PED violation.

Irvin apologized and announced he would not appeal the punishment. 

"I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and Seahawks fans for making a mistake when I took a substance that is prohibited in the NFL without a medical exemption," he said in a statement released by the team. "I am extremely disappointed in the poor judgment I showed and take full responsibility for my actions. I will not appeal the discipline and instead will focus my energy on preparing for the season so I can begin earning your trust and respect again. I look forward to contributing to the team the moment I return."

Irvin was a situational pass rusher last season and finished with eight sacks. He was one of several Seahawks in line to fill in for last year's starter, Chris Clemons, who suffered an ACL tear in the playoffs. Other candidates are free-agent pickups Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett.

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Another statement: Matt Barrows is going on week-long vacation/workation beginning Saturday. The 49ers will hold an OTA session next week (and the week after that and the week after that), and of course, the league will award Super Bowls L and LI on Tuesday. The Bay Area is the frontrunner for Super Bowl L.

Keep an eye out for a story of receiver Ricardo Lockette, who promises to be one of the more intriguing story lines this offseason. It is scheduled to run Sunday in The Bee.

-- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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