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Von Miller's ban reportedly not for positive drug test

As Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller prepares to appeal his four-game suspension for violating NFL policy, recent reports suggest his punishment wasn't triggered by a failed drug test.

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"He didn't test positive for anything," a person with knowledge of Miller's situation told Lindsay H. Jones of USA Today Sports.

Mike Klis of The Denver Post also reported Friday that Miller, the 2011 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, didn't test positive for performance-enhancing drugs or recreational drugs in 2013, per an NFL source.

There are other ways Miller could have triggered a ban. Skipping a counseling session or test, or repeatedly being tardy for tests all can result in a suspension. Miller has been a part of the NFL's substance-abuse program since testing positive for marijuana in 2011, his rookie campaign.

NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported that Miller's appeal is expected to be heard in mid-August, according to a person informed of the timetable. Miller has expressed confidence in that process from the start, saying Wednesday, "I don't think I let my teammates down."

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"I just believe that what he says is right, and what (he) believes is going to happen." Broncos linebacker Wesley Woodyard told Jones. "I have his back 100 percent, no matter what happens. He seems quite faithful that he's going to beat it, and we're quite faithful he's going to beat it. There must be something to (his confidence). We don't know what it is, but we believe in his confidence."

The Broncos -- and their fans -- will find out next month if Miller's appeal nets a reduced punishment. If these reports hold true, it's easier to understand why Miller argues he's done nothing wrong, of late, to hamper the locker room. The league's final decision affects not only Miller, but also a Broncos team that believes it's Super Bowl-ready in 2013.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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